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MCI launches Facebook bot for portal

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The MCI has soft launched a Facebook Messenger Bot last month, as part of its efforts to leverage on new technologies and platforms to reach out to citizens. According to MCI, the bot is still learning, and with its machine learning ability, will improve in accuracy of links provided over time.Karen Tan (pictured), senior director of the public communications division, MCI said the MCI ultimately wants to make it more convenient for people to access Government information, receive news alerts and even provide feedback.“Technology now allows us to use bots to help provide answers to Singaporeans through a chat interface.  Since many Singaporeans are on Facebook, it is only natural to launch our first bot on its Messenger platform,” Tan said.The bot aims to be the first stop for Facebook users looking for information related to the Government. It can potentially reach out to more than four million Facebook users in Singapore, said MCI in a statement where it was quoting a source from“Over time, we hope to build a good subscriber base, which we will be able to broadcast key government announcements to. The bot will also be useful for directly messaging subscribers during national emergencies,” the statement from MCI added.In the interim, the  biggest advantage of using the bot is that the public will be able to search for Government information straight from Facebook Messenger. The bot will pull all relevant information from across Government and direct you to the most relevant websites, instantly and conveniently in one bot will be a good place to start if you are looking to be kept updated on Government announcements, or looking for information on a Government scheme, service or public officer.The FB Messenger bot allows users to do the following:Search for government news, policies and schemesLook up contacts of government agencies and public service officersNavigate to various government eServicesGive feedback on a host of topicsSubscribe to regular news alertsView the latest videosReceive timely alerts during national emergencies.Consumers can access the bot directly at, or via messaging the Facebok page or download an app to search for the bot. It is also QR code enabled.The website, the official communication platform and repository of the Singapore government, was first launched in 1996. The website recently underwent a revamp in July 2015 to improve user-friendliness and accessibility and uses social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube  to better connect the public with the Singapore Government. It carries a mix of videos, graphics and lifestyle articles.Since the July 2015 revamp, the number of unique website visitors has more than doubled year-on-year from 120,395 in June 2015 to 248,036 in June 2016.

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