Enhancing the Suomi.fi service with automation: Lingsoft and the Population Register Centre improve linguistic accessibility with the help of language technology

The accessibility of online services is important to the Population Register Centre, and accessibility has been made a top priority in the development of the Suomi.fi service. The Population Register Centre has decided to become the first actor in Finland to automatically monitor and improve the accessibility of the texts used in its online services. In November 2018, Lingsoft will supply the Population Register Centre with a solution – developed under the codename “Laatuagentti” (Quality Agent) – that helps public service providers write understandable, error-free and increasingly accessible service descriptions.
 
The service information resource working in the background of Suomi.fi is used to collect every public administration service and online service channel under the same banner. The information is shown in the Suomi.fi online service. The service is designed for citizens, companies and public authorities. The goal of the Suomi.fi service information resource is to produce and maintain information in an easy-to-use and controlled manner under one banner while also providing the information for use outside the Suomi.fi service. With the help of an open interface, the information can be used in accordance with the principles of open data in other online services, for example.
 
The goal of the Suomi.fi service is to improve the availability of public services so that they can be accessed anytime, anywhere and by all types of users. The way that these services are presented is crucial for their accessibility, and this is most evident in the way that their contents are written. Clear and understandable text benefits everyone involved: the more unambiguous the content is for the reader, the better the digital services can function and the more equal they are for their users.
 
Together, the Population Register Centre and Lingsoft have developed a solution based on Lingsoft’s language technology that helps improve the linguistic accessibility of the Suomi.fi service. The solution in question is a customised quality checker that works via an interface that notifies authors when their text contains jargon, spelling errors or structural issues, and it also provides instructions on how to fix these issues. When routine quality management can be outsourced and automated, the online editorial staff of the Suomi.fi service can focus on more demanding tasks that will help improve the service for all users. When the solution is deployed, it will be referred to as automatic text checking.
 
For more information about Lingsoft’s solution, see the Population Register Centre’s blog (available only in Finnish): https://vrk.fi/blogit/-/blogs/ei-007-vaan-30-000-palvelutietovarannon-agentilla-on-lupa-parantaa
 
See the following video on the accessibility of the Suomi.fi online service (audio and subtitles in Finnish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv6gRUTp5yA&feature=youtu.be
 
Read more about how the accessibility directive that guides online public services is being implemented in Finland on the Ministry of Finance’s website  (available only in Finnish): https://vm.fi/saavutettavuusdirektiivi
 
For more information about the project, please contact:
 
Lingsoft’s Chief Digital Experiences Officer Maria Leinonen, firstname.lastname@lingsoft.fi
Population Register Centre, Development Manager, Jari Suhonen, firstname.lastname@vrk.fi