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Cape Town eyes boosting customer support with chatbot

Read time 1min 40sec

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with SAP South Africa, hosted its first hackathon last week, in an effort to create a potential live chatbot for its Web site.

The city views online chatbots as excellent customer support solutions for government services, noting they can process service requests in huge numbers, function 24/7, and help departments fulfil their duties more efficiently.

Hosted over two days, the “City ChatBot Hackathon” brought together various city IT developers, design thinking consultants and operational subject experts to compete at developing the most innovative and effective online chatbot.

According to a statement, participating developers, University of Cape Town graduates and specialist consultants were split into three teams, and each tackled a business scenario presented to them by the city’s leaders.

“We view this hackathon as part of the city’s initiative to drive innovation within the information, systems and technology department, by exposing our developers and teams to the latest emerging intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence, with a view to improving the lives of the citizens and reinforcing the city’s commitment to developing a smart city,” states the city’s mayoral committee member for corporate services, Sharon Cottle.

In the statement, the city’s information systems and technology department elaborates that hosting the hackathon was in line with embracing the concept of intelligent technologies and understanding how to leverage these in the advent of the fourth industrial revolution.

Furthermore, the hackathon provided the city with access to the latest SAP technologies supported by a team of SAP experts who provided the city teams with the ability to drive innovation by identifying other suitable and effective scenarios and use-cases, reads the statement.

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