Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:35

Queensland Treasury rolls out Nuance’s virtual assistant ‘Sam’ Featured

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Queensland Treasury rolls out Nuance’s virtual assistant ‘Sam’ Image courtesy of Farbenetek at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Queensland’s Office of State Revenue, part of Queensland Treasury, has launched Nuance Communications’ virtual assistant "Sam" across all OSR revenue lines, marking the first Australian state government implementation of the conversational virtual assistant.

Sitting on Business Queensland and QLD Online websites, Sam provides a conversational interface that allows clients to ask general questions about OSR’s services round the clock.

Using Nuance’s natural language understanding, conversational dialogue and advanced resolution techniques, the Sam virtual assistant provides more than 300 tailored responses, with thousands of variations to commonly-asked questions across payroll tax, duties and grants, land tax and mining and petroleum royalties – and can also direct taxpayers to relevant information on OSR’s Web pages.

Deputy Commissioner for OSR, Simon McKee, said, “With Sam, we have provided another channel for our taxpayers to easily access information, 24/7.

“Sam saves taxpayers time by delivering information in a simple, conversational way and reduces the need for them to search for information on our web pages. Sam marks a further step in our commitment to meet or exceed our taxpayers’ expectations.”

Managing director for Nuance Enterprise, Australia and New Zealand, Robert Schwarz, said, “Conversational AI has completely transformed the way consumers engage, providing endless opportunities for government to provide best-practice digital customer experiences. More than ever, Australians are expecting seamless digital client experiences from the private and public sector alike.

“Nuance’s AI systems listen, learn and deliver progressively better outcomes by leveraging big data and human input to emulate live agents. Through this learning loop, we can deliver enterprise-grade solutions, empowering organisations, including government, to provide optimal experiences for Australians. Nuance Nina ensures consistent and intelligent automated conversations with human-like dialogue.”

OSR launched Sam in February 2018, and since then, Nuance says Sam has logged more than 5000 client interactions – with more than 71% of inquiries being resolved at the first contact.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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