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Context

New York Black Friday 2018

Imagine this, I’m at the phone store with my mom. She is about to purchase a new iPhone and we just found out it is backordered. We both stare at each other with fear knowing that this means it won’t arrive until after I am back in California. Instead of a seamless orientation process for getting her started with her new phone in person, we would have to have phone calls for me to explain to her how to use her phone.

California December 2018

Fast forward a few weeks, I am back in California my mom is in New York and I get the first phone call. “Gabby, how do I increase the brightness on my phone?”. I braced myself and explained to her to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. She told me she tried it and that it did not work. She hung up the phone as I pondered what to do. She called me back a minute later and said I asked Siri and she fixed it!

Now what does my mom using Siri have to do with chatbots for social good? That is a great question and the answer is access.

Access to information

A huge benefit for conversational devices is the ability to create a central place to access information. There is a learning curve for getting information from a website and figuring out the ins and outs of navigating complicated applications. Chatbots empower you to know where to obtain the information you need and then allows you to accomplish your tasks faster.

Here are some areas of opportunity in the domain of chatbots for social good:

1. Personalized Education Chatbot

It can be hard to remember things as a student. What homework did I have for English Class? When is the big essay for History class due? Chatbots can help by providing you this information and giving it to you on demand via a messaging channel that you regularly use like Messenger or Slack.

Chatbots are a great way for humans to consume machine learning applications. In the education space imagine linking a machine learning algorithm that identifies your learning style and then sends you helpful resources that match how you want to learn so you can study up before the big test. If you have been identified as a visual learner your bot can suggest to you images and videos to explain complex topics in the subject matter you are learning about to help augment your study experience.

For those procrastinators out there, the bot could also be an accountability system that helps you set up micro tasks you need to finish for your big assignment and then send you push notifications and status checks to make sure you are on track with your goals.

2. Public Legal Services FAQ Chatbot

The public service industry is known for demand exceeding supply. It is hard to filter through which cases require focused attention and which cases can be solved by referring to a past solution. Imagine having a bot that can give people access to the frequently asked questions for a legal topic so they can understand for themselves what type of case they need to prepare.

Time is a precious resource in under-resourced professions and having the ability to automate elements of it in a space that allows for anonymity for the user is a powerful tool.

3. Community Engagement

Chatbots can be deployed onto a multitude of channels. Image creating a community chatbot for a local area that engages with users about local events, community resources, and community needs.

In this world a decision about budget allocation can be voted on by the local community and there is a platform for communication of local events during times of natural disasters or larger events. It is always important to stay up to date with when the local carnival is coming to town.

4. Other examples

Here is a collection of chatbot applications already out there being used for social good for some inspiration!

Now that you have the idea of how chatbots can impact and change people’s life, I challenge you to think outside the box and let your imagination run wild. Think about the different ways that chatbots can increase access in your daily life or the life of your loved ones.

You can start off by asking yourself the following questions:

How can you build a chatbot for social good that helps your coworkers, your friends, or even your Mom?
What are some of the biggest social challenges in your community?
What information could be useful to solve these challenges?
What are the channels that your target audience will use?
Can you get any support from an expert in the domain of your challenge?

Once you have an idea of the social purpose of your bot, head over to SAP Conversational AI  and start building your bot for FREE!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Want to build your own conversational bot? Get started with SAP Conversational AI !

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