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Free Thinking 2 – people need training to be as ‘human’ as bots

talking local government

Release Date: 06/23/2019

Public services are ahead of business when it comes to service design show art Public services are ahead of business when it comes to service design

talking local government

Professor Clive Grinyer, head of service design at the Royal College of Art talks about collaborations with Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and local authorities

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Councils need to beware of fraud as they distribute £30bn to SMEs says Cifas show art Councils need to beware of fraud as they distribute £30bn to SMEs says Cifas

talking local government

The organisation behind the national Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy sets out threats and counter measures

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Covid-19 turns waste collection upside down prompting innovative response show art Covid-19 turns waste collection upside down prompting innovative response

talking local government

Businesses made idle by closure of commercial premises are being enabled to support hard-pressed domestic collections  

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World Wide Waste 3/3: our digital consumption is out of control show art World Wide Waste 3/3: our digital consumption is out of control

talking local government

This third programme based on Gerry McGovern's new book looks at the damage done by the digital mindset (more, cheap, now, throwaway, ‘free’)

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Coronavirus impact on care sector follows years of low status and neglect show art Coronavirus impact on care sector follows years of low status and neglect

talking local government

Karolina Gerlich of the Care Workers Charity describes current pressures on care workers but their roots lie in years of failure to resolve the sector’s status and funding.

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World Wide Waste 2/3: business is squandering digital’s green potential show art World Wide Waste 2/3: business is squandering digital’s green potential

talking local government

The second programme based on Gerry McGovern's new book looks at corporate IT and digital practices that accelerate environmental damage

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World Wide Waste 1/3: doing stuff online is good for the environment - right? show art World Wide Waste 1/3: doing stuff online is good for the environment - right?

talking local government

Gerry McGovern is a globally-recognised web usability expert whose new book sets out the devastation wrought by our over-consumption of all things digital.

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Online self-assessment for local authority social care support in prospect by Autumn show art Online self-assessment for local authority social care support in prospect by Autumn

talking local government

Councils could soon have access to an online tool for residents to self-assess their social care needs without face-to-face intervention from an officer.

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Undergrad to digital care entrepreneur: how a grandfather’s diagnosis inspired development of home monitoring hub show art Undergrad to digital care entrepreneur: how a grandfather’s diagnosis inspired development of home monitoring hub

talking local government

At around the time Alex Nash was looking for a final year project for his engineering degree at Loughborough University, his grandfather was diagnosed with Dementia. ‘The technology available to him was old, and analogue, and didn’t provide any reassurance to the family that he was OK’ says Alex, nearly five years on. With his degree completed and a fledgling product under his belt, Alex got funding from Innovate UK and matched this with funds from angel investors. Alcuris is now poised to start delivering Memo to local authority customers. As he explains in this programme, the product...

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The ‘tech’ of data sharing is easy: getting agreement between different parties in the system is the hard bit show art The ‘tech’ of data sharing is easy: getting agreement between different parties in the system is the hard bit

talking local government

Helena Zaum describes work by Microsoft and other partners to support Manchester City Council’s vision of tech-enabled care within an integrated system

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Staff picking up enquiries handed off from Monty, the Monmouthshire Council website chatbot, have needed training to ensure they put aside council speak and adopt the simple, text-friendly language these machines have learned to use.

This was one of many interesting nuggets of information to emerge from the discussion stimulated by Monmouthshire’s decision to open up a new customer service channel that allows customers to submit queries into the council website as text and receive automated answers rather than having to use navigation or search to get there. Some users clearly don’t realise they are ‘talking’ to a machine.

Many of the issues raised whenever ‘bots’ are discussed arise in this conversation: the threat to jobs, the benefits of freeing staff from answering questions like 'when's my bin day?' to handle more important and complex enquiries, instances when users prefer the anonymity of speaking to a machine, and the return on investment in this technology.

Our panel agree that text and voice-based interaction is moving ahead rapidly for all customer-facing organisations and public services are no exception. Integration with existing systems is the big challenge.

This programme is part of the Free Thinking series produced by CLGdotTV in association with Paul Tonks founding director of Tailor Made Projects Limited