With COVID-19 affecting 206 countries, areas and territories, IBM is aiding government agencies, healthcare organizations, and academic institutions throughout the world use AI to put critical data and information into the hands of their citizens.
There has been a flood of information requests from citizens, and wait times in many areas to receive answers can exceed 2 hours. Available for no charge for at least 90 days and available to IBM clients' citizens online or by phone, IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens on the IBM public cloud brings together Watson Assistant, natural language processing capabilities from IBM Research, and state-of-art enterprise AI search capabilities with Watson Discovery, to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19.
"While helping government agencies and healthcare institutions use AI to get critical information out to their citizens remains a high priority right now, the current environment has made it clear that every business in every industry should find ways to digitally engage with their clients and employees," said Rob Thomas, general manager, IBM Data & AI. "With today's news, IBM is taking years of experience in helping thousands of global businesses and institutions use Natural Language Processing and other advanced AI technologies to better meet the demands of their constituents, and now applying it to the COVID-19 crisis. AI has the power to be your assistant during this uncertain time."
Watson Assistant for Citizens leverages currently available data from external sources, including guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and local sources such as links to school closings, news and documents on a state website. IBM already is delivering this service across the United States, as well as engaging with organizations globally in Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, UK and more.
The offer includes access to 15 pre-trained COVID-19 "intents" or queries. "Intents" are purposes or goals that are expressed in a customer's input, such as answering a question. By recognizing the intent expressed in a customer's input, the Watson Assistant service can choose the correct dialog flow for responding to it.
Clients can also work with IBM to customize the offering on top of the base model and intents to include information related specifically to a city or region for specific information that is pertinent to those citizens or constituents, as well as integrate with client's back-end ERP systems.
For more information about Watson Assistant for Citizens, visit www.ibm.com/watson/covid-response.