A computer programme and a robot named Ada are helping the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) process immigration cases, newspaper Aftenposten reported on Thursday.
“Depending on its type, a case today can remain in a queue for several weeks or months.
“This technology allows you to cut almost any waiting time in certain types of cases because a decision can be taken on the same day when a case comes in,’’ said UDI’s senior advisor, Bettina Overas.
This makes UDI less vulnerable when workload increases, she added.
Although there were still people, who manually handled immigration cases, certain cases that satisfied a series of criteria could be digitally approved by the data system.
The first approved case was of a father and a daughter from the Philippines, who would join a mother working in Norway, Aftenposten reported.
“The intention is that this system completely takes over decision-making process in those cases where it is possible to give and where it shall be given residence,’’ Overas explained.
So far, 20 such automatised decisions had been made and the system was not used in rejecting the applications, the report said.
Since Oct. 2017, UDI had also been using the robot Ada in its administration work, which has carried out almost 22,000 tasks so far.
On average, Ada does such a job in four minutes, while a person uses about 20 minutes per itinerary.
“People can make many manual errors, but the robot never makes mistakes,’’ said Martin Koldaas, leader of UDI’s robot project.
“A robot is open 24 hours a day and is always at work, 24 hours a day 365 days a year, and development happens at the speed of a rocket,’’ he said.
According to UDI’s director Frode Forfang, so-called chatbots will eventually be used to handle some of the public contacts.
“In some asylum cases, we are conducting language tests today. Then a recording is sent to a laboratory in Stockholm, and UDI has to wait for answers from them.
One can imagine this happening simultaneously, while the asylum interview is in progress and that a machine identifies the origin of asylum seekers based on their language,’’ Forfang said.