Say “Hey Umang” soon for government services via voice commands

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Chenai: The citizen services of the government application Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (Umang) will soon be available simply by using voice commands.

The one-stop platform for accessing pan-India e-governance services will be made available through a voice interface such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, after the government selected the artificial intelligence (AI) company conversational Senseforth.ai to extend voice functionality to the Umang app.

This means uploading your vaccination certificate, booking vaccination slots, checking your pension amount, tracking the status of your scholarship, searching for Jan Aushadhi medicine or medical stores, viewing your pension book or tracking the status of your EPFO ​​request, all of this can be done by voice commands.

The feature has recently been uploaded to the website of about 13 citizen services including E-Raktakosh, EPFO, Jan Aushadhi, ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation), National Scholarships, AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education ), CoWin and Atal. Pension Yojana.

In fact, many more features will soon be added to the app’s journey to AI-powered conversational citizen services.

“Governments around the world are embarking on digitalization and potentially a lot of people’s dreams could be left behind if they do not access citizen services provided on digital platforms,” ​​said Shridhar Marri, co- founder and leader. director of Bengaluru-based Senseforth.ai told ET.

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“Conversational AI is a way to solve this problem by using local language input by voice or text, then providing the same level of service without them having to use a mobile app or access a website,” added Marri.

The feature will initially be available in English and Hindi and will expand to around 10 major Indian languages ​​over the next 6-8 months, he said.

During the pilot launch, over 500,000 users interacted with the text-based virtual assistant by asking over one million questions. The voice feature will be enabled with the actual rollout, he said.

ET reported last year that the government had launched a tender for the voice assistant after realizing it could also create a voice app to benefit those who cannot read or write, or do not communicate in English or Hindi. This came after Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa offered such features and these became very popular.

A Google report last year confirmed the geographic expansion of new digital users into Tier II cities and beyond as well as villages.

“This has led to an increase in the importance of the 3Vs – voice, video and vernacular – for a wider variety of uses, underpinned by a preference for the native language,” Google had said.

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