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IBM offers ‘Watson Assistant for Citizens’ to provide responses to COVID-19 questions

IBM is offering Watson Assistant for Citizens for no charge for at least 90 days and will assist with initial set up, which can typically be done in a few days. The initial solution is available in English and Spanish and can be tailored to 13 languages.

With COVID-19 affecting 206 countries, areas and territories, IBM is helping government agencies, healthcare organizations and academic institutions throughout the world use AI to put critical data and information into the hands of their citizens.

With a flood of information requests from citizens, wait times in many areas to receive answers can exceed two hours. Available for no charge for at least 90 days and available to our client’s citizens online or by phone, IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens on the IBM public cloud brings together Watson AssistantNatural Language Processing capabilities from IBM Research, and state-of-art enterprise AI search capabilities with Watson Discovery, to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19.

“While helping government agencies and healthcare institutions use AI to get critical information out to their citizens remains a high priority right now, the current environment has made it clear that every business in every industry should find ways to digitally engage with their clients and employees,” said Rob Thomas, general manager, IBM Data & AI. “With today’s news, IBM is taking years of experience in helping thousands of global businesses and institutions use Natural Language Processing and other advanced AI technologies to better meet the demands of their constituents, and now applying it to the COVID-19 crisis. AI has the power to be your assistant during this uncertain time.”

Watson Assistant for Citizens leverages currently available data from external sources, including guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and local sources such as links to school closings, news and documents on a state website. IBM already is delivering this service across the US, as well as engaging with organizations globally.

IBM is offering Watson Assistant for Citizens for no charge for at least 90 days and will assist with initial set up, which can typically be done in a few days. The initial solution is available in English and Spanish and can be tailored to 13 languages.

The offer includes access to 15 pre-trained COVID-19 “intents” or queries.  “Intents” are purposes or goals that are expressed in a customer’s input, such as answering a question. By recognizing the intent expressed in a customer’s input, the Watson Assistant service can choose the correct dialog flow for responding to it.

Clients can also work with IBM to customize the offering on top of the base model and intents to include information related specifically to a city or region for specific information that is pertinent to those citizens or constituents, as well as integrate with client’s back-end ERP systems.

IBM is also working with global businesses in other industries to apply AI to help them respond to COVID-19 and reimagine the way work will get done in this new operating environment.

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