New Zealand Police introduces “Ella”
Digital person “Ella” has been developed by Soul Machines to help Police understand if a Digital Hero makes sense in a policing context
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, February 12, 2020 — Today New Zealand Police announced “Ella,” an autonomously animated Digital Hero developed by Soul Machines, the ground-breaking New Zealand company re-imagining how humans collaborate with machines. “Ella” (which stands for Electronic Life-Like Assistant) will be stationed in the lobby of Police’s National Headquarters for a three-month trial beginning Thursday, February 13, 2020, assisting the concierge team and talking to visitors about Police services.
Ella was announced alongside Police Connect – electronic service points that are also being trialled to provide non-emergency services to the public 24 hours a day. The two trials are part of a programme of work to modernise Police’s service delivery and showcase how Police is embracing and exploring digital technologies to develop future-proofed and people-focused non-emergency services that are accessible to everyone in New Zealand.
“We know that across the country people still want to engage face-to-face with local police in their community, and we will always do this,” said Commissioner Bush. “But technology is transforming the way the public want and expect to interact with organisations and their services – and Police is no different. We’ve achieved a lot this past year with the 105 non-emergency number, online reporting and NZ Police app making it easier for the public to access and receive the services and information they want, when they want, and in the ways that suit them. But we’re very much just starting this journey, as Police Connect, Ella and other modern digital technologies present many more exciting opportunities for us to provide new and improved policing services.”
“Everyone at Soul Machines is thrilled and honoured that Commissioner Bush and New Zealand Police are exploring ‘Ella’ and our technology,” said Greg Cross, co-founder and Chief Business Officer, Soul Machines. “As an advanced AI research company with proud roots in New Zealand, having the opportunity to launch one of our digital heroes to help and assist our Police force is a privilege. We look forward to expanding this partnership which showcases the best of New Zealand to the world.”
ABOUT SOUL MACHINES™
Soul Machines™ is a ground-breaking, AGI research company of AI researchers, neuroscientists, psychologists, artists, and innovative thinkers, re-imagining how we connect with machines. The company brings technology to life by autonomously animating CGI characters – they call Digital Heroes – to complement and enhance the work real people do in ways we can’t. Their vision is to humanize artificial intelligence to better humanity. Soul Machines™ is now deploying the world’s first digital heroes with some of the biggest corporate brands in the world in Banking and Finance, Software and Technology, Retail, Ecommerce, FMCG, Automotive, Healthcare, Energy, and Education industries. Soul Machines currently has over 130 employees with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Tokyo, Melbourne and Auckland. For more about Soul Machines™, visit smitpurchase.wpengine.com.