The police have unveiled their first AI officer, with hopes she’ll soon be smiling and blinking out of screens in stations all around New Zealand.
Ella, the artificial intelligence cop at the centre of the police’s new digital services, was revealed at the police national headquarters in Wellington this morning.
Ella, which stands for Electronic Lifelike Assistant, is part of two new digital kiosks police have designed to help reduce queues in stations and to provide a modern way to connect with the public.
Designed as a mix of 26 different people, Ella is the brainchild of project manager Erin Greally, and will primarily be available only at the headquarters building in Molesworth St, where users can ask for information or be connected to whoever they’re visiting.
If the three-month pilot goes well, police hope to have Ella’s friendly, CGI face spread across kiosks throughout the country.
The other kiosk in the pilot is the police connect service, which people can use to ask for information on commonly asked questions, report a crime, or be connected to someone at the call centre.
The police connect kiosks will be piloted in three stations in the Wellington district.
During the pilot, these kiosks can be found at the Wellington, Johnsonville, and Featherston stations, but Commissioner Mike Bush said they hoped to have them in stations across New Zealand, as well as non-police locations.
“We believe we could put these anywhere.”
The kiosks will have CCTV monitoring and other alarms built into them.
The new services were “a continuation of the modernisation of the New Zealand police force”, he said.