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  • Writer's pictureICS.AI

Launching SMART; world's first public sector Conversational AI to guarantee human parity performance

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

In face of labour shortages costing UK public sector £10.3B*, ICS.AI launches SMART, the world's first public sector Conversational AI that guarantees human parity performance

human parity conversational AI

With the staff shortage crisis ongoing, it could cost the UK public sector £10.3B* to fill vacancies with outsourced staff. Conversational AI can slash this number by up to 50%, but only if it’s good enough at answering user questions. ICS.AI’s public sector AI assistants do it so well, they come with the world’s first human parity performance guarantee offered for an AI product.

Dubbed an Alexa for the public sector, ICS.AI’s AI assistants are pre-trained on thousands of queries through advanced language models, continuously improving through SMART Mesh hyper-learning capability and are available across all contact channels to enhance user experience and customer satisfaction.

Cheshire West and Chester Council AI Assistant

To date, ICS.AI SMART AI assistants have answered over 702,000 queries at an average success rate of 92%, delivering results equivalent to those of a well-trained member of staff. The newly launched guarantee means that if their performance falls, ICS.AI train them back to human parity levels at no extra cost, ensuring the outstanding performance is consistent.

What is human parity performance?

Human parity is when Conversational AI answers at least 85% of questions the first time, the same average resolution of an advisor handling phone, live chat, email or messenger contact. Human parity can only be achieved with thousands of queries used to create an AI language model, allowing an AI assistant to understand and carry out all or most conversations end-users of a particular organisation might strike.

Why is a multi-channel use critical for human parity performance?

People have different channel preferences. Any channel without Conversational AI deployed enables analogue contact; preventing deflection and leading to bottlenecks. Ultimately, lowering the impact human parity Conversational AI can have on customer experience.

“We believe that Conversational AI will become the standard way we engage with and within organisations. However, this cannot be achieved without human parity performance - people will simply not choose to use a channel that offers a worse outcome than people do. With our mission being human parity Conversational AI, I am delighted we can now offer a human parity performance guarantee.”

Martin Neale, CEO, Founder and Co-inventor, ICS.AI

Human Parity Conversational AI

Customer outcomes

Telford and Wrekin Council AI Assistant

In practical terms, human parity allows up to 50% of all inbound contacts to be self-served regardless of channel, day or time. This creates significant benefits; increased agility and user satisfaction together with streamlined operations leading to annual savings of up to £500k for a mid-sized organisation.

ICS.AI’s contact deflection enabled Lewes and Eastbourne Council to move five agents away from live chat towards more income-generating activities. It allowed Telford and Wrekin Council to offer three new services to residents served by AI without putting additional pressure on staff. And Durham University, receiving nearly half of its admissions contact out-of-hours, serves them with a multilingual AI assistant, streamlining recruitment.

Human parity performance – the proof


AI Assistant

# of queries


Nottingham Trent University




Durham University




University of Leeds




New College Lanarkshire




Cheshire West and Chester Council




Southampton City Council




Telford and Wrekin Council




Lewes and Eastbourne Council




Information Commissioners Office (ICO)




East Sussex County Council




Basingstoke and Deane Council




A selection of ICS.AI’s AI assistants consistently assist public sector organisations with excellent accuracy rates.

Key benefits

Deflects up to 50% of your inbound contacts

  • Available 24/7 on channels your users prefer to use

  • Handles high volumes of queries, freeing up staff to manage complex activities

  • Hands over to a human where more help is needed

  • Reduces user waiting times and increases customer satisfaction

  • Ready to go from day 1, thanks to pre-trained language models specific to the sector

How is human parity performance achieved?

The technology behind ICS.AI’s AI assistants is built on data from thousands of queries from within the UK’s public sector, amassed over the years of research and successful deployment of Conversational AI in different organisations. ICS.AI’s AI assistants come pre-trained knowing what users mean on day one of going live; jump-starting great user experience and boosting performance metrics across the board.

To maintain human parity performance, ICS.AI has developed SMART Mesh hyper-learning; a unique capability of the AI assistants to regularly update its language model, sharing knowledge from other AI assistants working in the same sector, without customers having to dedicate time and resources to do it themselves.

"Local citizens can't choose information sources, they depend on their council's resources. If AI means we are accessible to residents who wouldn't normally be able to get in touch, that's a fantastic thing. So, approaching channel shift as an opportunity, we deployed a 24/7 Citizen AI Assistant with ICS.AI. It reduced phone contact by up to 37% while maintaining over 90% customer satisfaction rates!"

Gemma Hancox - Customer Contact Group Manager, Telford and Wrekin Council

Why does human parity Conversational AI matter?

Gartner predicts Conversational AI will reduce contact centre agent labour costs by $80 billion in 2026. And even though the technology is compelling, it is still maturing, meaning many vendors do not deliver on its potential. To make user contact more efficient, Conversational AI must perform at human parity levels, otherwise it does not have the desired impact on metrics and customer satisfaction.

Why choose ICS.AI?

Durham University AI Assistant

To achieve its market leading position, ICS.AI have worked with many public sector organisations, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, Crown Prosecution Service, Telford and Wrekin Council, Lewes and Eastbourne Council, Durham University, Nottingham Trent University and the NHS. Their human parity Conversational AI is so reliable, it is guaranteed to achieve over 90% success rates in assisting users.

Watch our Webinar recording to learn more

Watch this Webinar recording to hear from the experts behind the world’s first Conversational AI for the public sector with human parity performance guarantee. You will learn how human parity elevates your organisation’s customer experience by providing excellent 24/7 assistance on any channel, deflecting routine queries and helping users self-serve most processes.


More information

Contact ICS.AI: To find out more or book a demo, contact ICS.AI

Press Enquiries: For press enquiries please contact Fiona Watson, CMO, ICS.AI -

Data sources: Calculated by ICS.AI (Nov 22) based on the following data sources:

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