Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

EXCLUSIVE! Chatbot Development for Public Service

OpenGov Asia has recognised GovTech for the public sector’s evolving digital use. The agency has streamlined government operations and broken new ground with its Virtual Intelligent Chat Assistant (VICA). The project is part of GovTech’s ongoing efforts to develop and deploy chatbots to fill gaps in government services and enhance the lives of citizens.

VICA is the most recent citizen assistant platform from GovTech, utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create more efficient and beneficial chatbots for government agencies to manage and for end users. The ‘Ask Jamie’ Virtual Assistant will eventually be replaced by VICA.

The engine-neutral platform employs cutting-edge tech to enhance performance and precision. VICA utilises natural language processing engines, machine learning and AI to enhance virtual and phone interactions between Singapore government institutions and residents or businesses.

This platform not only learns and interprets conversations but also offers businesses the ability to design and train chatbots, features that Ask Jamie did not provide. The automated processes provided by VICA make it easier for agencies to onboard and “train” their chatbots.

This accomplishment earned GovTech the prestigious OpenGov Asia Recognition of Excellence Award, which will be presented at the 8th Annual Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum 2023.

Chatbot advancement to improve citizen experience

In addition to providing a simple FAQ, VICA improves transactional services in numerous other ways. Streamlining transactions provides greater convenience and access to government services and information, as well as quicker and more direct responses to user inquiries.

Taxi drivers and hawker stall owners, for instance, can use the IRAS chatbot to request assistance with tax filing. The Municipal Services Office’s OneService Chatbot, Kaki, which allows residents to easily report municipal issues via WhatsApp and Telegram, is also powered by VICA.

VICA-powered chatbots provide the public with timely updates, such as the chatbot, which provides COVID-19 updates and disseminates important government announcements in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Using NLP technology has allowed VICA-powered chatbots to better understand and interpret human language, particularly in the context of Singaporean English, thereby improving overall user experience. It is possible to create more structured conversational flows by defining intents, entities and context management – the building blocks that provide directions to chatbots and allow them to meet the needs of users.

VICA provides detailed analytics and insights into the performance of the chatbot as well as user conversations. With this information, the team can identify areas for improvement to enhance performance and accuracy.

Technology is constantly evolving, and the team is continuously on the lookout for and learning about new AI trends. Hence, VICA has been experimenting with a Generative AI programme that can understand written prompts and respond with helpful assistance in real-time since mid-2022.

VICA’s development involves the gradual integration of cutting-edge technology that meets the requirements of the entire government. These technological upgrades will include a unified chat frontend to ensure consistent branding across all government ministries and agencies – Singpass Integration, Live Chat Escalation, and support for various chat platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.

As part of the closed beta programme with internal testers, the VICA team has been utilising these technologies to improve the quality and efficacy of the chatbots with citizens.

Developers also want to reduce the time and effort that their agency partners have to invest in training and maintaining their chatbots. While the team has always been receptive to new technologies, they take a measured approach, through progressive internal testing phases with the selected partner agencies before launching to the public.

The strategy is to determine how technological advancements can benefit not only the agency partners but also citizen users.

VICA intends to surpass FAQ-style chatbots with near-human conversation capabilities in the long run. It intends to combine services and transactional capabilities so that chatbots can assist users with their inquiries and complete transactions.

Given the potential risks and shortcomings associated with the development of intelligent development of platforms, it is vital to have an ethics framework in place. This will allow developers to plan for and be aware of the pitfalls and limitations of AI, which include:

  • Accuracy: Models can give false responses that sound convincing
  • Bias: Inherent biases may exist in the training dataset, which can be difficult to pre-empt due to the lack of information. This could then manifest in the model’s responses;
  • Harmful content: To create a safe and healthy environment for users’ interaction with chat apps, chat moderation is important to monitor and regulate user input messages against inappropriate and offensive content;
  • Data governance: When interacting with chatbots, users may inadvertently volunteer personal and confidential data through the chatbot’s prompts.

It is essential to encourage interactions with them and provide feedback to ensure that chatbots are performing as intended and to improve their overall performance.

Despite the functionality and enormous potential of generative AI, VICA has placed a high priority on governing its use to ensure that such technology is employed in an ethical manner benefitting both end users and society.

To mitigate the risk of unintended prejudices and ensure adherence to data governance rules, it is crucial to adopt an intentional strategy for the collection and transformation of raw data into useful and insightful outputs. Such a strategy can help ensure that the data is handled fairly and responsibly and that any potential risks are addressed pre-emptively or proactively. Moreover, this approach ensures that the resulting outputs are accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

About the team

The organisation recognises the importance of aligning team members towards a shared vision and objective, regardless of their diverse backgrounds. With a diverse team, each member can bring their unique perspectives and expertise to the table. Working collaboratively, the team can leverage these diverse perspectives to generate innovative problem-solving strategies.

The VICA team fosters an atmosphere of open communication and encourages feedback, creating a cooperative environment where team members feel heard and valued. This establishes a safe place where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.

They frequently organise team-building activities outside of work to foster camaraderie, build stronger relationships and create a more cohesive team dynamic. They believe this approach can lead to more innovative solutions and better decision-making.

Defining clear objectives and goals is crucial for the success of the VICA team. Every team member understands that they are working towards a common objective, providing a sense of purpose and direction.

Clear missions and defined tasks allow the team to stay on track and ensure that their efforts are moving the project forward in the right manner. This approach helps ensure that everyone is aligned and focused on achieving the same goals, which ultimately contributes to the success of the project.

The VICA team has implemented a robust project management framework that outlines the roles and responsibilities of team members at each project stage. They adhere to budget planning procedures to manage costs effectively. This framework helps ensure that everyone is clear on their responsibilities and contributes effectively to the project’s success within the specified budget.

The VICA team has adopted an agile approach that emphasises adaptability, speed and continuous quality improvement. The team uses retrospectives to evaluate what works well and what doesn’t, identifying opportunities for future improvement. This enables the team to quickly make adjustments and continuously improve the project’s quality, resulting in a more successful outcome.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.