Citibot logoGenerative AI is rapidly transforming not only the tech industry but every sector worldwide. It wasn’t long ago that Google became the primary source for life’s questions, eliminating the need to go to your local library and sift through encyclopedias. Technology has steadily improved our access to information and services, and Generative AI represents the next evolutionary leap in this process.

In a remarkably short time, Generative AI has begun reshaping industries and redefining jobs. Fast food drive-thrus now employ automated assistants, coding has become more streamlined, and content creation has reached new heights.

A versatile tool applicable to any industry or profession, Generative AI can lighten work loads for existing employees and create additional time for new tasks. Generative AI is the next step for municipalities to serve their residents by making websites and city services more accessible. 

In early 2024, the City of Bakersfield, California, introduced Archie, a chatbot powered by Generative AI. Their aim was simple: to modernize government services, allowing residents to easily access information and submit service requests.

Bakersfield partnered with Citibot to implement the chatbot directly on their website. Residents also have the option of texting inquiries to a dedicated phone number.

Citibot has been creating accessible chat solutions for governments since 2016. Previously, chatbots were forced to rely on static FAQ databases that are difficult to update or modify on a regular basis.

Now, when a city government updates their website, the chatbot’s knowledge base is automatically updated as well. When a resident asks a question, the bot navigates the website to find the most relevant information, link, or department. Citibot operates within stringent regulations, ensuring that the bot generates responses exclusively from website data, thus ensuring accuracy.

It takes time for governments to adopt new tools and technologies that benefit their constituents. There are often lengthy approval processes when collaborating with external entities.  However, it is vital for local governments to understand and leverage technology to avoid falling behind.

Citibot boasts a wide range of clients across California, including Bakersfield, Roseville, San Jacinto, and the Los Angeles County Sanitation District among others. 

The City of Roseville, California, was one of the first cities to implement a Generative AI chatbot. The city used Citibot’s multilingual functionality to facilitate two-way communication in 71 different languages.

Within the first three months, residents of Roseville were regularly asking questions in 13 different languages.

Through this innovative technology, Roseville gathered valuable insights from previously unheard voices. 

When city governments prioritize technological innovation, they improve not only communication, but quality of life for their residents.