The city of Cluj-Napoca, one of the top smart centres of Romania, sets the tone in terms of the use of robots in the service of the community. Thus, Antonia, the first virtual civil servant in Romania, will be operational from mid-April within the City Hall. It will initially have to redirect the citizens’ online requests, according to the type of application ticked and, in the course of time, to provide support to citizens, 24 hours a day, in their interaction with the City Hall.
On the occasion of the event dedicated to the advanced technologies ‘Trends and Trendsetters in Deep Tech, Entrepreneurship and Policies’, part of the Start-up Europe Week, Mayor Emil Boc made the announcement.
Along with the topics approached, on innovation, progress of technology and society in the new digital era, he announced the development project of the first virtual civil servant in Romania. The robot was named Antonia, inspired by the already-known global model – Sophia, the first robot in the world to receive citizenship (in Saudi Arabia).
The project team is coordinated by the Computerization Strategies Service alongside the Citizens Information Centre. So far, Cluj-Napoca City Hall has implemented 47 procedures and applications that can be included in the concept of Cluj-Napoca Smart City.
“Thus, the work of other civil servants is reduced, by instantly redistributing to the corresponding service the application filled by the citizen, simplifying more and more processes and the interaction of Cluj citizens and visitors with the City Hall,” Emil Boc believes.
For now, the virtual civil servant is in tests and will be available from April 15.
“Last but not least, the key component is what specialists call ‘machine learning’ and beyond, artificial intelligence. There are concepts that we have to seriously consider with the Cluj-based IT community and see together the best solutions for increasing the quality of life through technology,” the Mayor of the city also mentioned.
The Cluj-Napoca City Hall will soon launch a new digital city portal, which aims to improve communication between the citizen and the public institution, as well as to eliminate bureaucracy.
“As far as the future and technological progress are concerned, I am optimistic. Robots will not be able to replace jobs that do not exist. Technology will not be able to replace all jobs, but it will create jobs that do not exist at this time, so people may have more time to relax, spend time with family. Therefore, I am confident that through technology we will have more free time for our loved ones,” Emil Boc also said.