The parking chatbot already answers questions about resident parking at the City website. Photo: Ville Meloni.

Artificial intelligence experiments building functional Helsinki

An increasing number of City of Helsinki employees will in the future be working hand in hand with an artificial intelligence, AI for short. The City organizes training for employees entitled Artificial Intelligence and Us. The training involves practical experiments that help the trainees to gain understanding of the ways in which AI and machine learning will be changing the City’s customer service operations and the management of those operations. 

For example, the flow of feedback to the City, which amounts to tens of thousands of messages per year, will be sorted by an AI, rather than by a person, as soon as in two years’ time, according to current projections. 

A parking chatbot as the most advanced AI application

Some of the training programme’s projects were launched during the first AI course organized by the City in the spring of 2018. The most advanced AI application developed for the City is a parking chatbot, which has been in pilot use on the City website since September 2018. 

Although the parking chatbot on the City website is already working, it still needs a couple of hours of teaching per week. City parking experts go through questions that the AI has failed to answer and teach it to become better in customer service. The AI improves week by week.  

Video (with soundtrack in Finnish): Kalle Mikkolainen presents the resident parking chatbot.

“It’s not the idea that people would be replaced by a robot. AI will be a tool, much like the navigator is to taxi drivers these days,” says Kalle Mikkolainen making a presentation on the resident parking chatbot.

Read more: 

Blog: Artificial Intelligence and Us by Petja Partanen, in Finnish

Artificial Intelligence training, in Finnish

Resident and corporate parking in Helsinki