Ample Labs looks to build covid information chatbot to support information needs for Toronto’s homeless
Last week the province released their modeling for the spread of COVID-19 and it’s not easy to look at.
Ontarians are trying to do their part to limit the spread through physical distancing and self-isolation, but the situation has left many without a job, and is putting extra pressure on those who were already vulnerable.
“We need to limit the spread ASAP, that’s why we at Ample Labs are creating COVID-bot,” says C.G. Chen, Ample Labs founder. “COVID-bot is a chatbot that helps people find best practices for their circumstances. This includes preventative measures, mental health care groups, what to do if infected and more.”
Ample Labs is a non-profit that looks to empower those facing homelessness using technology. The organization previously created Chalmers, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that makes it easier to find social services like free meals, shelter, clothing banks and more in the City of Toronto.
Chen points out that people facing homelessness have two times the risk of infection, which also puts social workers and frontline workers at risk. Ample Labs wants to arm as many people as possible with the knowledge to protect themselves and limit the spread ASAP.
They are looking to raise $20,000 to further develop COVID-bot, which is designed to be as easy as messaging a friend. The chatbot will ask you what you’re looking for and show you the options closest to you anywhere in Toronto/GTA area.
What can COVID-Bot help you find?
- Ways to protect yourself: Get up-to-date information on best practices to stay safe.
- Self-assessment guides and testing centers: Figure out what your symptoms are, determine whether you need to get tested and find the safest route to a testing center.
- Mental Health support and care communities: There are many professional services and online communities that offer support, and we’ll find the one closest to you.
- FAQs and misinformation fighting: With an overwhelming amount of rumors online, it’s important to get the facts straight.
- And more resources! These include free things to do while self-isolating, marginalized artist funds, and more.
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