TOPEKA – Kansans who have questions about filing their state income taxes, are looking for information on Kansas government officials or who want to do a search for unclaimed property can now use an online chatbot, Agent Kay.
Launched in June 2018, Agent Kay is the official chatbot of the State of Kansas. Chatbots are computer programs that mimic human conversation by using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Incorporating chatbots into government technology provides exciting new avenues for modernizing the delivery of digital services to the citizens of Kansas.
Agent Kay guides visitors of the Kansas.gov Help Center through a series of questions, aimed at quickly and easily providing the information they need. Citizens who interact with Agent Kay can either ask conversational questions or can click on one of the many topics that auto-populate when Agent Kay is accessed. These topics include information on taxes, hunting and fishing, unemployment, or state trivia.
Kansas Information Consortium LLC (KIC), the company responsible for the development of this program, created Agent Kay to meet the needs of increasingly tech savvy consumers. KIC General Manager, Nolan Jones, states: “KIC is pleased to provide this innovative technology to enhance our customer service. Agent Kay is an important step in leveraging new, private-sector technologies that can enhance the services we provide to citizens, businesses, and agencies throughout Kansas.”
Agent Kay is currently programmed to answer over 150 questions, with new responses being added almost daily. The underlying technology features an analytics component that constantly evolves and improves Agent Kay’s ability to respond to user questions. In the event that a user’s inquiry is beyond the scope of Agent Kay’s programming, the user is transferred to one of Kansas.gov’s knowledgeable Help Center Technicians.
The development and maintenance of Agent Kay is performed by KIC as a service of the Information Network of Kansas Inc. (INK). Under INK’s and KIC’s public-private partnership, eGovernment services are delivered through a self-funded model, which does not utilize taxpayer funds.