BRENT, UK – Meet Shanice, she is the new receptionist at Brent’s council town hall. Oh, and she is also a hologram, pretty cool right?
The council has decided to invest £12,000 in the technology in the hope that the hologram can direct users to the right part of the building and provide advice on what paperwork they may need.
However, frustrations will probably get high pretty soon, Shanice can only answer a restricted number of questions. Although the council claims it will save £17,000 a year compared to a real-life receptionist you can see in the flesh, some critics are worried that the cost of reprogramming the virtual assistant will diminish its value for money.
Alison Hopkins, an opposition councillor for the Liberal Democrats, told the Evening Standard: ‘This is a startlingly expensive way of solving the problem. Shanice can’t respond even to basic questions but is limited to a small number of pre-recorded scripts.
‘I hope she has been told one of the commonest questions is: “Where are the toilets?”
Visitors will be asked to punch in their reason for a visit to the town hall on a touch screen before they are told where to go by Shanice. This kind of technology is often seen in airports however it is believed to be the first time a council has ever adopted the technology for themselves.
What do you guys think about this? Is it a good idea or a bad idea? Let us know in the comments.