Chatbot-mediated public service delivery
A public service value-based framework
Keywords:public service; public service value; chatbot; artificial intelligence.
Chatbots — computer programs designed to interactively engage with users, replicating humanlike conversational capabilities during service encounters — have been increasingly deployed across a wide range of Internet-based public services. While chatbots provide several advantages (e.g., improved user experience with reduced waiting times to service access), the surge of chatbot use in public service delivery has frequently been plagued with controversy, poor publicity, and legal challenges. One important reason for this is that users of the services, and the wider public, do not always feel that chatbot-mediated services demonstrate the appropriate public service values. We investigate the public service value dimensions required in chatbots designed for use in the public sector. Specifically, we (a) review chatbots and their use in the delivery of public services; and, (b) develop a framework of how public service values can be exemplified by chatbots. Our study provides implications and evaluation criteria for stakeholders in chatbot assisted public services, including researchers, public managers, and citizens.
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