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Launch of New Digital Assistant on City of Burlington’s Website Provides Enhanced Customer Support

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*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — Feb. 12, 2024 — A new option to find the City information you are looking for has arrived. CoBy, the City’s first AI-powered digital assistant, can be found on the City’s website, burlington.ca.

This customer service enhancement provides 24/7 access to a wealth of city information and services. With a simple click, residents, businesses, and visitors can pose questions and receive real-time, AI-generated responses, based on the extensive knowledge gathered from burlington.ca.

CoBy is not just a digital assistant, it is an ever-evolving digital entity, designed to learn, adapt, and improve from every interaction, ensuring an enriched user experience.

The City of Burlington is one of the first municipalities in Canada to launch a generative AI digital assistant, created with Microsoft Copilot.

How CoBy works

Web users will find a green conversation bubble icon in the bottom right-hand corner of every web page on burlington.ca. Users can click the icon and enter a question for CoBy about the city. The digital assistant then uses Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) technology to quickly and efficiently provide the information requested.

The new digital assistant is currently in the beta phase of development, ready for testing. CoBy will continue to develop over time, influenced by the customer requests it receives, patterns learned through generative AI, and the addition of new data sources on the City’s website and beyond. Users can provide feedback on their experience with CoBy at getinvolvedburlington.ca/digitaltransformation.

Burlington is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

“The introduction of CoBy is another step in the City’s journey to create a more digital-friendly and responsive city. Our customer service team is the link between residents, businesses, and the services the City provides. The new digital assistant provides an enhanced 24/7 customer support experience as another option for those who live and do business in our City and one that complements our amazing customer service teams.” — Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

“The City is committed to serving our growing community. When our community members reach out to us, we know their time is valuable and aim to provide the most convenient and effective solutions possible. We are confident that adding CoBy to our network of customer services will help us continue to do exactly that.” — Jacqueline Johnson, Executive Director of Community Relations & Engagement, City of Burlington

“At the heart of Burlington’s Digital Business Strategy lies a commitment to harness innovation and technology in service of our city’s goals and aspirations to enhance our community. CoBy is our latest innovation—a tool born from the idea that technology should not only serve but also empower our community. This digital assistant is an example of our journey to tackle the challenges of a growing city and to achieve our objectives with creativity and efficiency. I am eager for our residents to engage with CoBy. Your input will be instrumental in shaping a responsive, adaptive service that truly embodies the innovative spirit of Burlington.” — Chad MacDonald, Executive Director of Digital Services & Chief Information Officer, City of Burlington

Quick Facts

The digital assistant initiative is connected to the City’s four-year work plan, called Burlington’s Plan from Vision to Focus 2022-2026, through two areas of focus – providing the best services and experiences and driving organizational performance. Key objectives for these areas include:

  • Creating a positive customer and staff experience every time
  • Expanding and enhancing opportunities to engage, listen and respond to our community
  • Being proactive to our growing and changing community needs
  • Prioritizing projects and initiatives to optimize City staff and technology resources
  • Efficient and effective service delivery
  • Being agile and innovative to inspire people, streamline processes, and leverage technology

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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