The idea is not to fire people but to “reinforce service”, says the Portuguese Executive.
Artificial intelligence based on ChatGPT technology will manage calls to 112, from 2025, in times of congestion, said the Deputy Secretary General of the Portuguese Internal Administration, António Pombeiro.
“In principle, if the pilot goes well, we are prepared to start using it from 2025 onwards” guaranteed António Pombeiro, on the sidelines of MAI Tech, a technology conference in the areas of security and civil protection, promoted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) in Porto.
Need to do “many tests”
The official warned that, for now, a pilot project is being worked on and it is “a very recent technology”, with the “need to carry out many tests”, admitting that for now “a lot of unknowns” are being walked.
“In certain situations we have waiting periods motivated by call congestion, this is when there are incidents or events that involve a lot of publicity, a lot of people visualizing what is happening, everyone has the initiative to call 112”, contextualized the António Pombeiro, giving the example of urban fires.
As the resources are “dimensioned for normal situations”, generating waiting times for answering calls that “can reach five or six minutes”, the idea is “to create a first interface that answers the call, assesses what kind of problem is whether you are being treated and what kind of reporting” is required, but with “a response in natural language”.
According to the Deputy Secretary General of Home Affairs, “the caller himself will not realize that he is talking to a system, a machine, a robot”, which will “use the new ChatGPT technology”, which will still go through a testing period with simulated calls.
“The second player must always be a human. The system never takes the call to the end”, assured António Pombeiro, clarifying that the system will work “only in times of greater congestion”.
Asked whether the idea is to replace people, the Deputy Secretary General of Internal Affairs rejected it, saying that it involves “strengthening operational means”, since it is always necessary to have a human in the rear.
As for false calls (to deceive or for purposes other than emergencies), which he said amounted to around 60%, “a very high number” that does not affect service, the official said that this situation “already lacks a different learning”, but “it is also an objective” of the new project.