On June 15, we organised a youth consultation to review a chatbot.
This is an artificial intelligence system functioning through Facebook, called “TALK TO PREETHI”. This safe space creates an opportunity for people to ask questions they have related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to find accurate, comprehensive and scientific answers. The chatbot will capture key words of one’s question and will provide automated answer/s accordingly. The chatbot answers questions ranging from puberty, nutrition, menstrual cycle, autonomy and many more different related topics on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The participants discussed anonymity, safety, accessibility, and content: including how to make the bot more user and youth friendly.
Here, we briefly explain the objectives of the bot, what its limitations are, and what the outcome of the consultancy was.
Objectives of the Chatbot:
- To review the content of the chatbot developed by Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, with the funding of UNICEF Sri Lanka.
- To review how youth-friendly, comprehensive, right-based and inclusive the content actually is.
- To review whether and how the chatbot can cater to young people and whether the automated questions and answers are the issues and answers that they are really looking for.
- To evaluate the reliability and whether the chatbot content will give access for young people in Sri Lanka/ or let them revisit the site regularly to find comprehensive, accurate and scientific knowledge and services of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- To inform youth platforms of the initiative and be involved in refining the existing content.
- The name of the chatbot is too conventional and needs to be revised.
- Realistic and general questions that young people face daily related to SRHR. Also note that the questions would be biased and unique for everyone.
- Answers and content should be non-judgmental, non-discriminatory and inclusive.
- Confidentiality secured among the users who access the site.
- Pilot testing before launching the chatbot.
- Language barriers – introducing local languages and even so majority would be comfortable in singlish typing.
- Make the content less technical and formal, and more youth-friendly
- Promote the chatbot among public washrooms, university washrooms and washrooms at malls.
- Channel for promotion through Education Ministry and NIE.
- Promote through CSE projects done by FPA.
- Through news-line in TV channels.
- Promote Chatbot by way of youth organisations promoting within and outside their organisations and Universities
Twenty participants from 12 organisations (Bakamoono.lk, Rotaract, Youth Technical Advisory Committee of Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Model United Nations, Girl Guides Association Sri Lanka, Hashtag Generation, Young Out Here, International Youth Alliance for Peace , Junior Chambers International, WithoutBorders, YANSL members and Volunteers) were present.