Bringing government closer to Jersey’s resident

Apptivism, a new London-based startup, has been busy building bridges between government, voters and not-for-profits by building chatbots. Chatbots are AI powered tools that enable people to have automated conversations with a machine. One of Apptivism’s pilot projects has taken place in the British island of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. The project involved building a chatbot that would connect Jersey residents with their government through Facebook Messenger. The system has been used by the government on four consultations (environment, community living, parental benefits and tax policy) and it has proven very effective, reaching four times as many people as a typical consultation, with strong levels of re-engagement between chats. Users of the chatbot are given feedback on their opinion compared with others on the platform and they are told through a website how the government responded to citizens’ feedback. Over 85% of those who tested the platform in the trial have said they want to use it again to share their thoughts on the future of Jersey.