Tech 100: ‘Bots will become an instantly normal part of our lives in 2017’

Written by Ritchie Somerville on 15 February 2017 in Comment

Ritchie Somerville, Innovation and Futures Manager at City of Edinburgh Council, on what 2017 holds and its impact on local government

Ritchie Somerville, Innovation and Futures Manager, City of Edinburgh Council

2017 will be defined by the rise of the bot.

Bots are not new, but with the arrival of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the direction of travel that Skype is now taking, they will become an instantly normal part of our lives in 2017. 

We all lead insight-hungry lives but we are often swamped by information.


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The rise of the Bot allows people to automate what information they choose to push to the top of their list and change how they choose to interact with it. 

Just look at how Amazon Alexa is changing the way we interact with technology - by just asking. 

For local government this provides an opportunity.  It will allow people to 'pull' information when they need it, rather than the need for it to be 'pushed' when it is published.

This will provide an opportunity to improve the relationship between people and council services where often they just want to know the basics, of when, what, how, where, who. 

This rise of 'information-as-a-service' will drive further change in how information is shared and how it needs to be managed by organisations; 2017 will see the rise of the age of reference.

Ritchie Somerville is Innovation and Futures Manager at City of Edinburgh Council

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