Turkey’s AI-based Coronavirus Assistant: Koronabot

As CBOT, we support Turkey’s struggle against coronavirus by the artificial intelligence technology that we have developed.

On March 17, we launched the “Koronabot”, which we developed through the NLP (natural language processing) and machine learning infrastructure of CBOT. Koronabot provides instant responses to the questions of the citizens about this disease with reliable information. As CBOT, we are proud to support the great struggle of our country in this major global event, which has significant social and economic effects, in terms of enabling the public to access the right information and protecting public health.

Few events in history have affected people’s working styles and daily lives so quickly and profoundly with such a broad global footprint. The short-term effect of Covid-19 disease was that we are all shut down in our homes, we continue our business from home if possible, we limit our spending and we use digital products and tools much more intensively. We will see the medium and long term effects all together.

Why did we develop this chatbot?

In such an extraordinary, unexpected and unpredictable situation, what needs to be done in the first stage is to inform the public with correct information based on science and ensure that they act according to this information. At this stage, tackling wrong information and practices is of critical importance. Our country, like many others, is taking certain actions to avoid the contamination of the virus. To realize our social responsibility, in this vital issue, we decided to develop a chatbot that provides the information needed by the citizens, based on reliable sources. We have deployed this chatbot, which we call “Koronabot”, in a short time by working in an intense and highly coordinated manner.

What kind of a technology empowers Koronabot?

Koronabot is not a rule-based chatbot, but it has been developed with artificial intelligence technologies. The chatbot, which we have developed using our own natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning infrastructure, can answer hundreds of different questions, that are categorized in the 20 most critical topics, based on the publications on the official websites of the Ministry of Health, other ministries and posts on their Twitter accounts. Koronabot also follows the updates in these sources and provides the most up-to-date information to citizens. Thanks to the natural language processing technology, it is sufficient  for the users to write in a natural way, such as talking or chatting while using Koronabot, it can understand these expressions and provides relevant responses. We believe that Koronabot, which can calculate the risk of disease based on the algorithms of the Ministry of Health, will definitely strengthen Turkey’s struggle against the Covid-19.

How can I access and use Koronabot? 

Koronabot is accessible through koronabot.com and the most popular news portal of Turkey, CNN Turkey. In order to chat with Koronabot on CNN Turkey’s website, the users need to click on widget of the chatbot. On koronabot.com, besides the widget, there is a search bar and the questions can be written on both fields. Koronabot improves itselves and provides accurate responses to more questions as it is used more. 

In addition to Koronabot, which operates in Turkish, we have developed an English version for those who want to ask their questions in English.  This assistant is accessible on botcorona.com and helps people based on the information published by WHO (World Health Organization).

What are the usage statistics so far?

Since the launch date, March 17, 60,000 dialogues were held by 15,000 unique users per day in average . The categories of the mostly asked topics are as follows: 

  • What are the symptoms of Covid-19? Am I infected? – 29.4%
  • How does it spread? How can I protect myself – 20.6% 
  • Number of the cases – 20.1%
  • What is Covid-19? Is there a treatment or drug %15.5

Conclusion

As the CBOT team, we believe that Koronabot, which we launched by working intensely with a social responsibility awareness, creates an important value for the public in terms of accessing the correct information easily and instantly. We are aware that the fight against Covid-19 disease can only be accomplished by the collaborative and systematic effort of the public sector, private sector and academia, and full support of the citizens to these efforts. With the same consciousness, we are ready to dedicate our technology and the experience of our team more to support the struggle with Covid-19 and to the overall benefit the society.

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