Monday, 19 August 2013

Virtual Receptionist

The Telegraph reports that Brent Council in north London is installing a 'virtual receptionist' named Shanice at their £90 million Civic Centre (ninety million?). They are incorrectly calling her a hologram, though I expect it is a 3-dimensional model like the Vocaloid characters.

Actually, thinking about this, if they had waited a couple more weeks they could have had Miku (English) instead, giving visitors to the council the bonus of a song-and-dance routine in answer to their enquiries.That sounds better, to me at least, than the very limited range of enquiries the new projected (literally!) receptionist will be capable of handling.

There is a touch screen for choosing a topic, so they could have had, for example when the 'housing' spot is touched, Miku performing to some House music. If it's about roads and traffic, then something from a road movie could fit. Want to pay your council tax or another council bill? How about Abba's 'Money Money Money'? Now that would bring in the people, and add hugely to the council's satisfaction ratings for front-desk customer service...

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