Coronabot: A Conversational AI System for Tackling Misinformation

Nancie Gunson, Weronika Sieinska, Yanchao Yu, Daniel Hernandez Garcia, Jose Part, Christian Dondrup, Oliver Lemon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

Covid-19 has brought with it an onslaught of information for the public, some true and some false, across virtually every platform. For an individual, the task of sifting through the deluge for reliable, accurate facts is significant and potentially off-putting. This matters since fundamentally, containment of the pandemic relies on individuals' compliance with public health measures and their understanding of the need for them, and any barrier to this, including misinformation, can have profoundly negative effects. In this paper we present a conversational AI system which tackles misinformation using a two-pronged approach: firstly, by giving users easy, Natural Language access via speech or text to concise, reliable information synthesised from multiple authoritative sources; and secondly, by directly rebutting commonly circulated myths surrounding coronavirus. The initial system is targeted at staff and students of a University, but has the potential for wide applicability. In tests of the system's Natural Language Understanding (NLU) we achieve an F1-score of 0.906. We also discuss current research challenges in the area of conversational Natural Language interfaces for health information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoodIT '21: Proceedings of the Conference on Information Technology for Social Good
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages265–270
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450384780
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2021
EventGoodIT '21: Conference on Information Technology for Social Good - Roma, Italy
Duration: 9 Sep 202111 Sep 2021

Conference

ConferenceGoodIT '21: Conference on Information Technology for Social Good
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityRoma
Period9/09/2111/09/21

Keywords

  • Chatbots
  • Conversational AI
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • Disinformation
  • Infodemic
  • Misinformation
  • NLU

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems

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