Virtual Assistant 2.0 can answer city-related questions

Wondering what events are happening in Markham, how to register for a program or when your garbage will be collected?

Those are just some of the many questions the City of Markham’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Virtual Assistant 2.0 can answer anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Continuing to pave the way as a leader in innovation and technology, the City of Markham is pleased to announce its newly updated Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled Virtual Assistant 2.0, providing users with 24/7 access to an even wider range of topics, anytime, anywhere and on any device.

In 2020, Markham was the first municipality in Canada to use the AI-enabled virtual agent IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens to offer 24-hour customer service for residents looking for reliable, consistent and accurate COVID-19 information.

Developed in collaboration with teams from IBM and Converge, a platinum IBM Ecosystem partner, the updated Virtual Assistant combines IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding capabilities with IBM Watson Discovery technology to understand and respond to a variety of Markham-specific questions. Questions include: “What events are happening in Markham?” “How do I register for a program?” “When will my garbage be picked up?” and more than 100 additional city-related topics.

The Virtual Assistant powered by IBM’s Watson Assistant platform, now has the ability to answer many more of the most common questions asked. Thanks to Comm100’s live chat software, users who need more support can now be seamlessly connected from the Virtual Assistant to a live customer service representative during regular business hours. To put the user at ease, the Virtual Assistant will tell you how many people are ahead of you in the queue, giving you the option to either wait or send your contact information and question for a representative to follow up.   

“Ensuring the City of Markham remains a leader in technological innovation is a priority and part of our Digital Markham Strategy,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Of equal importance, we need to ensure the public has easy access to information that is accurate and available when they are searching for it.”

The Virtual Assistant can be accessed through the City of Markham website at



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