Queensland Treasury’s tax and royalty collection arm has deployed a virtual assistant to answer simple questions about tax.
The assistant, dubbed ‘Sam’, gives taxpayers ready access to answers to questions on payroll tax, duties and grants, land tax and mining and petroleum royalties.
It is based on Nuance’s virtual assistant Nina and sits across sits across all of the Office of State Revenue's (OSR) revenue lines, including the Business Queensland and QLD Online websites.
The conversation interface is said to be capable of providing over 300 tailored responses to thousands of variations of commonly-asked questions using natural language understanding, conversation dialog and advanced resolution techniques.
Since being deployed in February, Sam has logged more than 5000 client interactions, with at least “71 percent of enquiries resolved at the first contact”.
OSR’s deputy commissioner Simon McKee said the assistant provided another channel for taxpayers to access information.
“Sam saves taxpayers time by delivering information in a simple, conversational way and reduces the need for them to search for information on our web pages,” he said.
Nuance’s Nina is also used by the Australian Taxation Office for its ‘Alex’ virtual assistant, which was introduced in late 2015 but is now been adapted for use in the agency’s call centre.
Alex is also being used by IP Australia to answer general questions about trademarks.
OSR is already a relatively early adopted of machine learning algorithms as part of a three year digital transformation program of tax and revenue management.
Earlier this year it began rolling out an application built on SAP Leonardo machine learning across all state tax lines to identify taxpayers at risk of defaulting on payments.