According to a McKinsey study, two out of every three respondents said their organizations will increase their AI investment due to advances in GenAI – less than a year after many of the tools were released.
Here at intive, we’ve been paying close attention to the power of GenAI and exploring the ways it can be adopted to drive impact on a wider societal level. One exciting way we’re doing this is through our partnership with Insights Driven to build ConnectingYouNow, a GenAI-based conversational search co-pilot originally designed to help people in Scotland, especially those with disabilities, to easily find and access the public services they require.
Meeting the Needs of the Scottish Government and Its Residents: GenAI-based conversational co-pilot
The Scottish government provides a vast array of services both directly and through third-sector organizations, including healthcare, social care, financial and legal support, food banks, activity groups, and more. The challenge is that residents are unaware of many services and also find it difficult to find the service that corresponds to their needs.
The government was eager to overcome this challenge, and it tasked our team to find an innovative solution. The team developed ConnectingYouNow (CYN), which is now being deployed and beta-tested with Scottish residents.
CYN is a GenAI-based multimodal conversational co-pilot, acting as a personal assistant for users to interact via text or voice. The flexibility of both voice and text interaction ensures that people with special needs (visual impairments, hearing issues, or low levels of digital literacy) can discover and interact with services.
CYN engages in contextual, targeted, and empathetic human-like conversations with users, enabling them to find required services quickly and easily. Our CYN assistant takes the extra step to help users in finding services closer to where they live, thus enhancing the experience.
User conversations with CYN also provide meaningful and actionable insights for the Scottish Government.
Overcoming Obstacles to Build a Best-in-Class Solution
The challenge in designing and building CYN has been twofold. First, since CYN is a public-facing platform, there were challenges related to accessibility, accuracy, and leveraging data. Second, since GenAI is a new and fast-evolving technology, the team had to stay up to date with the latest trends and test different options to work out a best-fit architecture and solution for the product.
Thanks to innovative thinking, technical expertise, and close collaboration with the community, the team was able to find solutions to both challenges and build something truly pioneering.
Accessibility is key in the design of CYN. The ethos behind this process has been to ensure it works for the 20% of the population with potential challenges, thus automatically making it highly user-friendly for the remaining 80%, irrespective of their abilities. The team has taken a user research and design-driven approach to ensure that people with diverse needs and abilities are a constant part of the journey. The platform was tested with a wide range of users and made available in multiple languages, to be inclusive for the many people living in Scotland whose first language is not English. The team adhered to WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines from day one and conducted accessibility audits to support this goal.
GenAI solution is constantly evolving
CYN is able to hold contextual and effective conversations with users using natural language by leveraging the latest updates in conversation technology provided by ChatGPT. The team is constantly evolving the solution with more advanced technology options to provide meaningful information and accurate results for user queries.
Our GenAI solution is geared to help organizations find anomalies in data and content that can be enhanced and enriched during the configuration process, thus improving the overall effectiveness of the platform. Similarly, CYN can detect emergency situations in the chat and appropriately redirect users to Emergency Service Contacts.
Of course, GenAI is not a silver bullet. While tools like ChatGPT are incredibly powerful, the dynamic nature of their outputs can make them unpredictable. This makes it difficult to test and guarantee outcomes. To address this challenge in the context of CYN, the team built a sophisticated tool that automatically tests the quality of conversations and search results, supporting AI engineers in ensuring the platform operates as intended at all times.
The team was determined to accomplish all of this while creating a seamless user experience; more specifically, a conversational interface that wasn't reliant on clicks and could understand all kinds of user interactions, including voice commands. We achieved this through iterative user testing and cutting-edge voice technology that can understand and converse with individuals with a Scottish accent.
A One-Stop-Shop: Outcome and Benefits of CYN
CYN will provide many benefits to the Scottish government. First, it will enhance user experience for residents accessing government services. Additionally, it will help residents find services that help them in their time of need. Most importantly, it will help the government analyze the usage of each of its services, the gaps within those services, and identify the regions that rely heavily on them. This will enable focused investments and better use of resources.
CYN is expected to increase service awareness and become a one-stop shop for public services in Scotland. The solution works for everyone who needs it, recognizing that human diversity is a resource for better design.
Paving the Path to Progress with GenAI
The next step for CYN is to build a robust repository of information-based content. This will allow users to receive the answers to all the questions they have pertaining to public services in Scotland.
Another upcoming goal is to make the CYN platform transactional – not strictly informational. This way, users will find the service they're looking for and also complete an intended task. For example, after identifying locations to receive a vaccination, the tool could also book an appointment.
Conversational search platforms like CYN have the potential to make a major impact in virtually any industry. FinTechs could deploy something similar to help users better understand investment options and make sound financial decisions accordingly. In eCommerce, users could search for products that meet their criteria described in natural language. CYN could hold initial discussions with customers, advising them on which steps to take, and allow access to dynamic service information.
To use generative AI safely, companies must understand how it works and how to use it responsibly while also guaranteeing data security and privacy.
A technology partner like intive can help you leverage GenAI to its maximum capability while ensuring ethics, accessibility, and accuracy in its results.
Interested in discovering how ConnectingYouNow could benefit your organization? Get in touch today.
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