New Zealand Just Recruited An AI Police Officer Into Their Force And She Is So Cool!
With the way technology is going, there is no doubt in my mind that there will come a day when robots will take over the world and make all of humanity their servants. Okay, I might’ve read too many sci-fi-thriller books, but you have to admit the thought of that happening is as cool as it is terrifying. Maybe they will be our faithful servants, who knows? My point is, one way or another, I have no doubt in mind that five decades later there will be fully functioning robots in this world.
It has already begun since Artificial Intelligence has proved to be groundbreaking in various fields. And I, for one, am super intrigued by this. The latest use for AI is within New Zealand’s police department who has recently recruited a new police officer. Now, normally this wouldn’t be a story, obviously. But this police officer is very special since it’s a robot.
This AI cop’s name is ELLA, which interestingly stands for Electronic Life-Like Assistant. She is a life-like virtual assistant who uses real-time animation to emulate face-to-face interaction in an empathetic way. Isn’t that the coolest thing you have ever heard? It would be just like a talking robot on a screen.
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ELLA was introduced earlier this week at New Zealand’s police headquarters in Wellington. The hope is that she can help citizens all over the country but since at the moment this is just a trial run, ELLA is only a part of two new digital kiosks that the police have designed. Now before you get all excited, let me clarify that ELLA is just a virtual assistant and not a walking talking robot (but someday they will rise). To put it simply, ELLA is basically SIRI with a human face who will help in police work.
Her first day on the job will be this Monday and she will be available at the police headquarters in Wellington city. Her functions will be to assist the concierge team, talk to visitors about topics like 105 non-emergency numbers and police vetting. She will also be able to notify police officers that guests have arrived and direct visitors to get a visitor pass.
She is also part of the police trials that are taking place at Wellington Central, Featherston and Johnsonville Police Stations. During these trials, she will be working with the police connect team which is a self-service platform where people can access Police information, seek advice, report non-emergency situations and even speak directly with someone from the Police.
You should know that she will not be replacing any of the police officers but working in tandem with them to deliver a strong police front across the country. However, she will be evaluated like any other human recruit. After three months, when her trial period ends, she will be analyzed to determine how her technology can be used in the future.
Talking about ELLA, NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush said, “Her capabilities are basic at this stage as she is a Proof of Concept, but we see some real benefits of digital person technology if we can equip the AI with more knowledge and capabilities, and it can learn from more interactions.”
If I ever travel to NZ, going to see ELLA is definitely going to be on my itinerary. This initiative does not only sound super cool, but it will actually make the lives of New Zealander’s so much simpler. I am waiting for the day this kind of technology reaches India, it should be fun.