France was hit hard.
At the time of writing, the country has the fifth most cases of COVID-19 in the world (using current data) and is also fifth on the list for total deaths. It’s been a tragic time for the country, but also a time full of misinformation and ‘fake news’. Especially closer to the beginning of the crisis, when verifiable, scientific information about the virus was difficult to come by.
Clevy decided to change that. Clevy is a French company that has been on the forefront of chatbot tech for some time. Their products are all about providing a helpful, human experience through automated messaging.
However, in the last few months, work on their main product line has taken a backseat.
Faced with a stifled economy and worsening health global health crisis, Clevy moved almost 80% of their team over to a new initiative. One that wouldn’t make them a single cent, but would prove to have a massive positive impact in the world. Meet the open-source CovidBot.
The Open-Source ‘CovidBot’ by Clevy
Should you wear a mask? What symptoms should you look for? How can you effectively self-isolate? What are the current government recommendations and rules? Is bleach actually a good cure-all for infectious diseases? (It’s not, please don’t ingest the stuff.)
These are all questions that you may be able to solve with a little Googling. However, there’s a good chance that along the way you could bump into some less-than-credible sources. And, if you’re unable to discern whether those articles are accurate, you may end up spreading that fake news faster than… well, a virus.
Which is why Clevy set out to build a chatbot that would make your life under COVID-19 just a little bit easier. We’ll let Salim Jernite, CEO at Clevy, tell you exactly what they did:
You get all that? Essentially, the company has created a bot that will provide you with:
- Tips to stop the spread
Including how to effectively wash your hands, wear a mask correctly, and avoid touching yourself and shared surfaces.
- A self-diagnostic tool
Do you have COVID-19? The CovidBot can help you quickly self-diagnose and figure out if you’ve contracted the virus. After answering 23 quick questions, you’ll be classed as either high, moderate, or low risk. High risk means see a doctor, moderate means book a Zoom call with a medical professional, and low risk means you should sit tight and monitor your symptoms. If they get worse, take the test again.
- Travel certificates (for out-of-home travel in France)
For most of the quarantine In France, you needed a signed document to leave the house. The CovidBot will generate these documents for you, just hit print!
- Quizzes to fight fake news
Test how much fake news you’ve accepted as fact. The CovidBot has short quizzes aimed at fighting the spread of dangerous misinformation.
- Data and numbers
Stay informed with the latest numbers around total cases, fatalities, and more.
On top of all that, the app is open-source. Which means it can quickly be adapted by anyone, in order to provide relevant information no matter which country it’s used in. This meant that, as Salim mentions in the video, CovidBot was quickly picked up by France’s ministry of health, as well as by governments and organizations around the world.
Positive Impact During Dark Times
When times get tough, it’s amazing to see companies like Clevy step to the plate and deliver something positive. Since launching the app in March, the company has seen over 300,000 users jump aboard and begin requesting accurate COVID-19 information from the bot.
Clevy has joined a short, but heartwarming list of brands that are making a positive impact during this difficult chapter in all our lives. That’s something we love to see. Now, no matter where you are in the world, you can get accurate and up-to-date information about the Coronavirus and how to deal with it (if you speak French, that is). Thanks, Clevy!
Take it for a spin yourself: Try the Clevy CovidBot
Or, if you’re a bit of a code monkey, you can check out the full open-source project on Github.