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New Zealand Police inducts first AI cop into its force

An Artificial Intelligence-based police officer called “Ella” has made its place in the New Zealand Police force. Ella is a virtual assistant with a face. Basically, it is like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa but with a human like face.

According to reports, Ella will use real-time animation to emulate face-to-face interaction. The virtual assistant, which will join New Zealand Police on Monday, will be deployed at the force’s national headquarters in Wellington.

It will welcome visitors at the headquarters, inform the staff that guests have arrived and assist them in collecting passes. It can also talk to visitors about issues, such as 105 non-emergency number and the force’s vetting procedures.

After monitoring its performance for three months, the police will decide the future of the virtual assistant in the force.

Ella will also be stationed at Wellington Central, Featherston and Johnsonville Police Stations where it will assist the force in police trials, which starts on February 13.

The AI will working in tandem with the Police Connect team, an interactive self-service platform where people can access information and seek advice.

The virtual assistant will not replace human officers. It has been inducted into the force to deliver a strong police presence across the country.

However, its performance will be evaluated like other human officers. Tech firms Intela AI and Soul Machines have played a major role in Ella’s development by programming it to use voice tone and body language to deliver a one-on-one service.