Orange County, Fla., announced Jan. 28 that Alexa users now have access to the “Ask Orange County Government” skill. Alexa, Amazon’s voice commanded virtual assistant, can help residents connect with government services through Orange County’s 311 service. In a statement, the county government noted it is the first in Florida to develop an Alexa skill.

The skill can answer questions such as “Who is the mayor?,” “Who are the commissioners?,” “How do I adopt an animal?,” “What can I recycle?,” “What do I do with yard waste?,” and “How do I prepare for a hurricane?”

“Incorporating this technology provides people with an easy and convenient way to ask questions about the county and access county-related information,” said Peter Miller, Enterprise IT Security Manager for Orange County. “There are thousands of questions already loaded on Alexa, and they’re based on the most frequently asked questions that we have received through our 311 service.”

The county also noted that it chose Amazon’s Alexa platform “due to its increasing popularity and market share.” While the skill debuted with thousands of questions already loaded, the county plans to add more knowledge to Alexa in the future.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs