Island Vibes March 2024

for city employees. Riley added that because Isle of Palms and other, bigger municipalities provide so many services, it is now imperative to have a city government system in place that streamlines all forms of communication, both with city employees and residents, and the many thousands of visitors that the island sees year-round. A total of 85 similar systems have been installed for other city governments including North Charleston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore and Long Beach, California. “It took a few months to get everything in place and tested,” Riley added. “The whole idea is to save time, and as people use the new IOP system, we will monitor it to see what people need most and ways to improve it going forward.” 3 NEWS City website introduces artificial intelligence software By L. C. Leach III retend you need to contact Isle of Palms City Hall for a building permit, to ask questions about beach laws, parking or inquire about new recreational league programs and schedules. To make this entire process faster and more effective, IOP recently launched a new online chatbot system that allows users to make requests and find answers in a timely fashion. “This platform will allow us to extend the lines of communication with our residents and everyone who seeks more information about the island,” said IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds. Suppose you want to observe one of the island’s nesting sea turtles, but aren’t sure the best way to do this or who to speak to about it. With the new Citibot system, named Sunnie, here’s how you can find out: Go to the city’s website Click on the button at the bottom right section of the browser window that says, “Let’s Chat.” A white and gray box will pop up with a message saying, “Hello I’m Sunnie, the City of Isle of Palms’ virtual assistant! For City information, please type your question.” Type in your message or question in the area that says start typing... and then click message. Another box will appear that says, “I'm working to get the best answer for you...” An answer will appear in a few moments, explaining options on viewing nesting sea turtles, or whether your intention is even legal to pursue, considering that IOP sea turtles are an endangered species. “And if at any time during the interaction an IOP resident or visitor needs assistance from city staff, they can send a message to ‘Sunnie,’ and the appropriate staff member will follow up with them,” said Chaundra Yudchenko, IOP public relations & tourism coordinator. The new system was created and installed by Citibot founder and CEO Bratton Riley, son of former longtime Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. Riley’s purpose in creating this new artificial intelligence (AI) system was to build automated chat solutions with the specific needs of local government in mind. “This system is built for local government by people who understand local government,” said Riley, who founded the company in 2016 with the express purpose of helping make local governments more accessible to the public and more efficient P