The City of Oulu stands out as a pioneer in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI): OuluBot virtual assistant expands its capabilities with generative AI

Press release 18.6.2024
The City of Oulu stands out as a pioneer in the use of Artificial Intelligence: OuluBot uses generative AI

OuluBot is a smart, conversational AI virtual assistant that enables 24/7 service in the City of Oulu’s customer guidance and advice. Oulubot has been in production since 2022 and is continuously growing in popularity. In October 2023, Oulu was among the first municipality entities in Finland to introduce generative AI features. Generative AI is now also used to enhance OuluBot further. OuluBot is powered by Boost.ai’s conversational AI technology, with Digital Workforce and Front AI serving as the City’s service partners.

OuluBot spans a wide range of the City’s services. The virtual assistant can currently answer questions about hundreds of topics, including public transport, inquiries about lost travel cards, tourism, library, building control-related topics, general advice on welfare services, and many others.

Today, OuluBot employs 22 people, most of whom are AI trainers working on training the AI model. Last autumn, new features based on a large language model (LLM) from Boost.ai were made available to Oulu’s AI trainers. These features have allowed them to teach the AI and generate responses for the bot much more quickly and efficiently.

A more recent development in Oulu this spring was the introduction of generative AI. Generative AI enables OuluBot to independently answer questions based on the information it gathers, for example, from the municipality’s website. In addition to the municipality’s website, the bot can search for information from the North Ostrobothnia Welfare Region’s (Pohde) website, and, if necessary, the search can be extended to the websites of other actors who promote the well-being of the municipality’s citizens.

OuluBot is one of the first government services worldwide to use generative AI autonomously to use existing content for independent learning. Independent learning allows OuluBot’s scope to be extended almost without limit to all services provided by the City and other selected service providers. The main task of the AI Trainers will be to monitor the quality of the answers produced by Generative AI and the accuracy of the source material it uses.


“We are proud to be at the forefront of digitalization in the municipal sector and to set an example using Generative AI. The City of Oulu is responsible for several services that residents, businesses, and tourists have many questions about. Large language models allow us to add new topics to OuluBot’s repertoire faster than before and to answer general questions better, which will significantly improve the customer experience. All this is done in a safe and controlled way,” says Veli-Matti Keloneva, Development Director.


“Oulu has the best virtual assistant of any city in Finland. They were the first to test Boost.ai’s LLM features last autumn and are already using generative AI extensively. Many other customers are still in the exploratory stage with these technologies, but Oulu has already come a long way,” states Jari Annala, CEO, Front AI.


“It’s great to see how OuluBot continues to expand and develop. As a result of the breakthrough in generative AI, people are much more willing and used to talking to virtual assistants. Oulu is in an excellent position to leverage these changes with its years of experience in conversational AI, the culture of continuous innovation, and customer-centric approach,” says Jussi Vasama, CEO, Digital Workforce.

OuluBot is hosted at https://www.ouka.fi/ and can also chat in the Oulu dialect.

More information
Marja Heikkinen, Key Account Manager
Digital Workforce Services Oyj

About Digital Workforce Services Plc
Digital Workforce Services Plc is a leading business process automation services and technology solution provider globally. Digital Workforce Outsmart services and technology solution suites allow organizations to save costs, accelerate digitalization, increase revenue, improve customer experience, and gain a competitive advantage. Globally, over 250 large customers use Digital Workforce’s services and technologies to transform their businesses with automation. Founded in 2015, Digital Workforce currently employs over 200 business automation specialists in the US, UK & Ireland, and Northern and Central Europe. Digital Workforce is publicly listed in Nasdaq First North Growth Market Finland. https://digitalworkforce.com

Press release 18.6.2024 – The City of Oulu stands out as a pioneer in the use of Artificial Intelligence: OuluBot uses generative AI