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Have you met Kamu, PatRek and VeroBot? Chatbots join forces to offer advice to foreign entrepreneurs in Finland

Publication date 29.11.2018 13.43
Press release

How do I start a business in Finland? What type of residence permit do I need? Which taxes do I have to pay? Three government agencies in Finland are now testing a joint chatbot service where the answers to customers’ questions are provided by three separate chatbots belonging to the Finnish Immigration Service, the Finnish Tax Administration and the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. The chatbot cooperation is a trial that continues until the end of June 2019.

This is the first time that government agencies in Finland test a service where several chatbots answer customers’ questions together. In the first phase, the chatbot service will target foreign entrepreneurs who speak English.

"Having a shared service channel will enhance the guidance offered to foreigners who want to start a business in Finland. At the same time we are creating opportunities for a more extensive enhancement of customer service with the help of artificial intelligence," says Kirsi Lahtinen, Head of Customer and Information Services from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.

Chatbots take turns in replying

Customers can access the new chatbot service in the same place where the existing chat services are available. The chatbots Kamu, VeroBot and PatRek can relay questions to one another according to the content of the question. In this way, entrepreneurs can get answers to all their questions at one place through one channel at any hour.

The chatbots learn and improve on the basis of each conversation. They have been trained to identify questions and find the correct answers to them.

At the Finnish Immigration Service, the chatbot Kamu has received positive feedback from customers already before the trial. The number of incoming phone calls from customers has decreased since Kamu was introduced.

Artificial intelligence is enabling new forms of service

VeroBot, an expert in general tax matters, was originally designed to help the Finnish Tax Administration in acquiring new customers for the agency’s China Desk. The desk offers advice to Chinese start-up entrepreneurs who are planning to start a business in Finland.

"Our aim is to be as proactive and real-time working as possible. To form a significant competitive advantage, the VeroBot must first team up with its best pals, Kamu and PatRek," remarks Client Director Miika Wires from the Finnish Tax Administration.

Offering joint services for which several public authorities share the responsibility is a future trend.

"We want to see how artificial intelligence can enable new forms of cooperation. We look at services from a customer’s point of view, not from an administrative perspective," says Chief Digital Officer Vesa Hagström from the Finnish Immigration Service.

You can test the chatbots here.

Further information for the media