NDIS: Bringing Nadia to Life

FaceMe: The Virtual Assistant platform which supports the integration between IBM Watson, Soul Machines and creates a frictionless experience over video to the end user.

Background

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS) has developed NADIA – world first virtual assistant technology to help provide the best possible service and support to NDIS participants.

Combining a human face and voice with cognitive intelligence, in a system co-designed by the disability community, is a world first – and has resulted in the unique language and personality model that people with disability want and need.

The Australian Government has worked in partnership with the disability community and some of the world’s leading tech companies and innovators to create NADIA.

Nadia is a result of strong calls from people with disability to make information available to them in a more accessible and personalised way, and remove difficulties in using standard Government communications methods.

(These are the words of people with disability about their experience of engaging with government as told to the Agency over the three-year trial period of the NDIS)

  • “I can’t speak - a call centre is no use to me.”
  • “I was unable to open it (letter) because I can’t use my hands, I can’t even get to my letterbox so mail can sit there for weeks unless someone remembers to check it.”
  • “If you have an intellectual disability, the NDIS can be hard to understand.”

Also without this innovation the Agency would simply not have been able to meet the demand for information from the NDIS community as it increases from 40,000 participants to 460,000 participants in the next three years.

The current call volumes to the NDIS hotline are in the order of 5,800 general enquiries per week – plus 1,200 provider enquiries per week. This call volume is from a participant base of 32,000 and active provider base of 700.

Nadia won’t be replacing NDIS staff or call centre staff. NDIS participants, their families and carers will still have the option of making a face-to-face appointment or phoning a call centre to get their information.

Learn more about the project below...

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