Utah chatbot, Porter, helps citizens find important COVID-19 information

The Utah Department of Technology Services has launched an online chatbot to help Utah.gov visitors find important COVID-19 information they need.

The automated text support tool, called Porter, is found on the homepage of Utah.gov. Porter will help with routine COVID-19 support questions and allow customer service agents to focus on helping with complex questions.

“One of the challenges we face is getting quality information to the residents of Utah,” said Mike Hussey, Chief Information Officer. “This type of technology allows us to use state resources efficiently while serving the public.”

Porter uses machine learning to consume frequently asked questions from users and finds answers from agencies across state and local government to learn how to best serve Utahns. Developers continually input additional information and analyze answers provided to help improve responses.

“Porter was designed to provide a personal touch to answer the important COVID-19 questions residents ask,” said Hussey. “We want all visitors to Utah.gov to get the information they are seeking.”

Porter will help connect residents to information about COVID-19 case counts, services for people with disabilities, Medicaid guidance, distance education, unemployment assistance and more.

To learn more, visit Utah.gov.