Alba is a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) tool—a chatbot—that is designed to assist Secretariat personnel with finding UN-related information from a variety of internal sources and with personal tasks related to email and scheduling. The chatbot was built by the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) and launched in July 2020, introducing a standardized approach to conversational AI in the Organization. Alba illustrates how emerging technologies can be used in everyday work. It also opens the door to UN departments to consider how this tool can best serve them. Working with OICT, departments are invited to enhance the chatbot with domains that can support their unique requirements. This is an exciting beginning of something new for the UN—a dawn, so to speak, which is the translation of Alba itself in several languages. The name for the chatbot was selected by OICT with this vision in mind, from the many entries received from global personnel in 2019 to a challenge on Unite Spark. The Alba chatbot is being rolled out in phases. Over time, it will grow smarter with use, broaden its scope of knowledge, become more capable through new domains, and converse in other official UN languages. Chat with the bot through alba.un.org via the internet and through Microsoft Teams via the chat feature. For information or inquiries, please contact the OICT Alba Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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