An ai graphic over a laptop

The City of Stirling has announced it will be making use of ‘Ainsley’ – an innovative, artificial intelligence supported engagement platform – as it develops its Community Infrastructure Plan 2023-2033.

In a first for Western Australia, Ainsley will be introduced as part of community engagement to inform the plan, which will guide the City’s planning and delivery of community infrastructure. 

This includes community and aquatic centres, libraries, sporting clubrooms, arts and culture spaces, skate and BMX facilities and basketball courts.

Locals have been invited to start conversations with Ainsley at 42 locations across the City about why community infrastructure is important and local residents are encouraged to ask a question about their neighbourhood.

City of Stirling Mayor, Mark Irwin, said the City’s commitment to listen and respond with a local focus now allowed residents and visitors to provide direct feedback at local parks, playgrounds, and community centres.

“Last year we adopted a new vision to become a sustainable City with a local focus following feedback from our community about what was important to them, so we are keen to be at the leading edge of best-practice in neighbourhood engagement,” Mayor Irwin said.

“To complement existing consultation methods and our online engagement hub, Shaping Our City, Ainsley will enable automated two-way conversations at 42 locations across the City via QR codes and text messages. We hope this innovative approach to engagement will invite everyone to talk about their neighbourhood and have their stories heard, so the City can better understand what matters to the unique communities across our 30 suburbs.

“Ainsley is a new platform that will deliver valuable and relevant information to our residents when and where they need it – while also keeping us connected with the pulse of communities to better understand local priorities.”

The platform will send and receive text-based messages, with answers based partly on submissions from previous conversations, a pre-built knowledge base (area/location, project information, previous activity, code referenced, point in conversation) and AI capabilities. 

The technology is capable of remembering prior users and their past interactions, and the data collected will be used to inform the Community Infrastructure Plan and other key City initiatives.

Ainsley is made by the company Hello Lamp Post.

Hello Lamp Post CEO and Co-founder, Tiernan Mines, said robust moderation mechanisms were in place to ensure that communities did not receive inappropriate material.

“The City of Stirling can draw comfort from the extensive experience and data Hello Lamp Post has collected in operating across more than a dozen different countries,” Mr Mines said.

“Using the infrastructure that already exists in cities and towns to make them more interactive, we can bring more voices to the table.

“Our original goal when we set out in 2018 was to answer the question, ‘What is the role of technology in making cities more people-friendly places?’ We hope one day to help every town, city and organisation to use their technology in a mindful, responsible way and help empower the communities they serve.” 

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