Wednesday, July 28

A voicebot to answer all your corona queries

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Do you feel overwhelmed by the tsunami of information on novel coronavirus doing the rounds on social media but don’t know where to look for authentic data? An engineer, a techie, a doctor and a statistician have teamed up to create a unique voicebot that uses artificial intelligence to sift through World Heath Organisation data to answer your queries on Covid-19 in English and Bengali on their website.

IIT-Kharagpur alumnus Souva Majumder, IBM data scientist in the US Sourav Mazumdar, physician and researcher at School of Tropical Medicine Amitabha Bhattacharya and statistician Anushree Bhattacharjee had been working on a voicebot for dengue since October 2019. They even conducted trials at a health camp in Moulali on December 15 and 16.

“We have been working on the algorithm and architecture for two years. It was only in mid-January, when WHO released an FAQ on novel coronavirus that we decided to train the voicebot on nCoV. The term Covid-19 had not yet become popular,” said Majumder, the architect, algorithmic and chief coordinator of the project. The team has retained the original name of the website www.denguebot.in that now contains more info on Covid-19 than dengue.

The voicebot recognizes Bengali questions in varied pronunciations. Till now, 2,100 people have tried it and the accuracy level has been 98.6%. The accuracy will improve as the voicebot becomes more intelligent with use.

Source: Times of India

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