The new website of the Valladolid City Council will have a virtual assistant ‘ANA’

The new website of the Valladolid City Council will have a virtual assistant ‘ANA’
The new website of the Valladolid City Council will have a virtual assistant ‘ANA’

The new website of the Valladolid City Council will have a virtual assistant, ‘ANA’, an intelligent chatbot designed, as its name suggests, to assist citizens with a wide variety of questions related to the different municipal areas and responsibilities.

This was brought to light today by the Mayor, Jesús Julio Carnero, during his presentation, who pointed out that ‘ANA’ is “much more than a simple assistant”, being a “step forward in the City Council’s mission to provide efficient and accessible services to all citizens”.

He pointed out that this new tool “responds to a determined commitment to innovation and modernisation, with the aim of offering information on practically all municipal areas, based on the consultation of different sources of information, among which the 010 service database and different municipal websites, such as the electronic headquarters and the notice board, stand out.”

The mayor referred to the Valladolid City Council’s Digital Transformation Plan led by the Councillor for Administrative Modernisation, Silvia Tomillo, recently presented, which includes a set of key projects in the field of new information and communications technologies aimed at citizens and providing them with the best possible information and attention, and which is already moving forward with specific actions.

Modern and functional

Regarding the new website, he highlighted its citizen-centred, “modern and functional” design, seeking to promote the information that is most useful to residents, such as the available customer service channels (in person, online and by phone), and the most in-demand services.

Being “light and dynamic”, the municipal website tries to express “Valladolid’s determined progress towards greater integration of public services and multi-channel assistance for citizens”, Tomillo stressed. In this regard, he commented that the biggest commitment made by the Government team in this project has been the deployment of the intelligent virtual assistant.

‘ANA’ is a pioneer in its field, as it is one of the first chatbots in Spain based 100 percent on generative artificial intelligence, a technology that took off just a year ago and is set to revolutionize the way we communicate and carry out activities of a very different nature. It is based on Google technology, whose representatives were present at the event.

Aware of the challenge, the Councillor for Modernisation explained that ‘ANA’ is in its first phase of development “and, although the City Council has worked intensively on its training, real interaction with the citizen will contribute decisively to its learning and maturity”. She also announced the City Council’s firm intention to develop this assistant, “in order to cover a wider range of information and facilitate the completion of electronic procedures in the future”.

Citizen commitment

With this project, the Government team wants to reflect its firm commitment to innovation and the ‘Digital Citizen’, making brave and rational use of disruptive technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence, “although we will never leave behind the citizen who, due to age or for any other reason, needs personal and face-to-face attention, which will always be careful,” said Carnero.

In relation to the above, the councillor explained that the choice of ‘ANA’ as the name for the assistant is in honour of the municipal employee who has maintained the underlying citizen care database for decades, “which reminds us that behind Artificial Intelligence there are people, who are essential to guarantee the coherence and reliability of the information sources used by robots, in a continuous circle of collaboration and mutual enrichment”. “Thus, we want to apply emerging technologies in a decisive manner, but with common sense, aware that it is the only way to place Valladolid at the forefront of municipal administration”, concluded Tomillo.

Finally, the mayor had words of thanks for the City Council technicians who, in collaboration with Luce IT, a company with roots in Valladolid, have developed the municipal AI. As for the new municipal website, it is a collaboration with the company Divisa, also from Valladolid. “We are proud to have local talent for the development of this project, because we must not forget that before artificial intelligence there are always people. Among them a group of extraordinary municipal employees, irreplaceable,” he said.

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