An revolutionary chatbot designed for sharing essential details about sexual and reproductive well being (SRH) with younger individuals in India is demonstrating how synthetic intelligence (AI) purposes can have interaction susceptible and hard-to-reach inhabitants segments.
Working with the Inhabitants Basis of India (PFI), Helen Wang, Ph.D., an affiliate professor of communication within the College at Buffalo Faculty of Arts and Sciences, examined the user-centered design and engagement of SnehAI, the primary Hinglish (Hindi and English) chatbot purposefully developed for social and behavioral change.
“Many AI applied sciences right now are motivated by revenue, however we should additionally bear in mind that AI might be leveraged in ways in which facilitate social and habits change,” says Wang, who focuses on entertainment-education and storytelling as devices for well being promotion. “SnehAI is a robust testimonial of the important potential that lies in AI for good.”
The findings from Wang’s instrumental case research seem within the Journal of Medical Web Analysis.
“Our analysis workforce seemed solely at SnehAI’s effectiveness with regard to SRH, however I am assured that the chatbot’s design might be simply tailored for various functions, in several international locations. Actually, I do know our companions have developed comparable purposes to handle home violence in South Africa. The most recent model of SnehAI will even embody youngster safety,” says Wang.
The interface of SnehAI (pronounced SNAY-ha eh-eye) is an avatar based mostly on a well-liked tv drama in India. The present presents themes that embody gender equality and household planning. After two profitable seasons, the PFI, with a technical companion, developed the chatbot with a view to prolong the present’s attain from rural and grownup populations to incorporate city youth in ways in which promoted SRH and advocated for the well-being of girls and women.
About 18% of the world’s inhabitants lives in India. That is 1.4 billion individuals, about half of whom are below the age of 25. Regardless of coverage commitments and a few latest progress, the SRH wants of younger individuals in India are missing, in response to Wang.
“High quality schooling about SRH is very restricted, contraceptive practices are closely skewed towards feminine sterilization, and unsafe abortions are rampant,” she says.
SRH misinformation compounds present issues, with younger individuals typically unware of contraceptive choices and the risks of sexually transmitted infections. Embarrassed or uncomfortable, younger individuals stay silent, or direct their questions and purchase info by typically unreliable web-based platforms.
However Wang says SnehAI offers what’s perceived as a protected house. It is an clever bot that gives a non-judgmental area that arouses no concern from customers about how questions could be acquired.
“The avatar is predicated on the protagonist within the drama, a trusted medical physician and a champion for well being and social points in society,” says Wang. “It isn’t only a random visible illustration of a human. That is vital as a result of this avatar is related to highly effective tales seeded with correct info modeled by optimistic characters.”
However the chatbot itself all the time clearly explains to its customers, as quickly as they launch the app on Fb Messenger, that there isn’t a human behind the avatar.
“Some individuals may ask: Who needs to speak about delicate private points with a machine? However we noticed the alternative impact,” says Wang. “There was no concern for the way somebody may react to a query. Chatting with an clever being with out having to fret about embarrassment, disgrace and guilt on this case really helps construct confidence and belief, particularly when the customers are knowledgeable about what information could also be recorded and their rights to guard private privateness.”
Over 5 months, SnehAI interacted with nearly 120,000 distinctive customers, particularly younger males, with greater than 8 million messages. About half of these messages had been deeply private questions and real issues concerning SRH exchanged by texts and dealt with by the chatbot’s pure language processing capability.
“General, SnehAI efficiently offered itself as a trusted good friend and mentor throughout 15 areas representing alternatives for engagement and motion,” says Wang. “Specifically, it fostered curiosity about SRH and a willingness to ask questions. And 71,211 is the variety of visits to the helplines characteristic of the chatbot, which demonstrates how transmedia storytelling—from a tv drama to social media after which an AI chatbot—can encourage customers to take motion.
“SnehAI is a major illustration of the potential impression of AI applied sciences for social good.”
Hua Wang et al, An Synthetic Intelligence Chatbot for Younger Individuals’s Sexual and Reproductive Well being in India (SnehAI): Instrumental Case Research, Journal of Medical Web Analysis (2022). DOI: 10.2196/29969
College at Buffalo
Chatbot offers protected house for younger individuals to study sexual, reproductive well being (2022, February 22)
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