New Zealand Police has recruited an unusual new officer to the force: an AI cop called Ella.
Ella is a life-like virtual assistant that uses real-time animation to emulate face-to-face interaction in an empathetic way.
Its first day of work will be next Monday, when Ella will be stationed in the lobby of the force’s national headquarters in Wellington. Its chief duties there will be welcoming visitors to the building, telling staff that they’ve arrived, and directing them to collect their passes. It can also talk to visitors about certain issues, such as the force’s non-emergency number and police vetting procedures.
After three months on the job, Ella’s future on the force will be evaluated.
“Her capabilities are basic at this stage as she is a proof of concept, but we see some real benefits of digital person technology if we can equip the AI with more knowledge and capabilities, and it can learn from more interactions,” said New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
Ella won’t be patroling the mean streets of Wellington just yet, and neither will it will be replacing human officers. But Commissioner Bush believes that if Ella does a good job, it could be handed a range of new responsibilities in the future.
You’re here because you want to learn more about artificial intelligence. So do we. So this summer, we’re bringing Neural to TNW Conference 2020, where we will host a vibrant program dedicated exclusively to AI. With keynotes by experts from companies like Spotify, RSA, and Medium, our Neural track will take a deep dive into new innovations, ethical problems, and how AI can transform businesses. Get your early bird ticket and check out the full Neural track.
Published February 12, 2020 — 15:59 UTC