smARTbot, the virtual assistant for transport
Since last year, the CSI Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation team has formed a working group with Autorità di Regolazione dei Trasporti (ART), an Italian independent administrative authority, which has the job to govern the economic regulation of the transport sector.
In particular, this Authority guarantees a fair and non-discriminatory access to transport infrastructures: railways, harbours, airports, motorways and intermodal logistic centres. ART provides the rules for transport services at the local, regional and national level and it ensures the application of the European law established in the transport by train, by bus, by sea and by navigable inland ways.
CSI worked on the necessity of ART to equip its corporate website with a virtual assistant, in order to dialogue with citizens and companies in a more interactive and conversational way. In this contest smARTbot has risen, a chatbot developed according to the faqbot model: the system gives an answer to each question expressed by the user, relying on the most similar question in a list of pre-established FAQs.
SmARTbot's realisation started from what it was designed for the Unlock PA project, a chatbot which CSI has released free of charge to the interested town halls from the second wave of Covid-19, to activate a 24-hours channel with citizens. Features and implementations have been added to allow a more friendly and flowing user experience. In the meanwhile, the collaboration with ART has meant a research laboratory to devise new roads: for example, the chatbot can return a list to disambiguate the question typed.
After a first period of internal trial of the virtual assistant, the solution was approved and is currently online. User feedback is collected and used to improve the quality of the given answers and to expand the range of topics and scopes in which citizens can be helped to reach the information they are looking for.