DOH to deploy AI-powered tool for unified Covid-19 communications

The Department of Health (DOH) will be rolling out a communications platform using an artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced tool developed by local tech firm Senti AI and powered by Google technologies.

The platform is expected to help guarantee that important information communicated by all DOH partners is updated and consistent across all channels.

DOH has initially teamed up with numerous communication partners such as chatbots and call centers to disseminate critical Covid-19 information to citizens and LGUs. However, due to rapidly evolving developments surrounding the crisis, the frequency of information is resulting in communication update delays across channels. This means that a citizen or LGU based in the province may receive different versions of the same information from a chatbot or a call center partner.  

With the help of Senti AI using Google technologies, DOH will be able to improve and centralize its communication system and integrate this to different communication partners such as chatbot providers through a secure API.

The tool will be filled with FAQs, public and health worker inquiries, and the latest government guidelines. DOH can then easily update and modify the contents of the knowledge base which automatically updates communication partners connected to the system all at the same time.

This will unburden the citizens from sifting through hundreds of documents with different versions of the same policy. LGUs from major cities up to remote areas of the country can all be in-sync with the latest and official guidelines.

Hosted on Google Cloud, the solution makes use of numerous AI technologies including Natural Language Understanding, Intent Detection, and Entity Detection. These features all work together for the system to intelligently capture the context behind an inquiry and provide the most relevant and up-to-date answers from DOH’s official knowledge source.

“The DOH hopes that this effort can mitigate the spread of fake news by providing a reliable and verified source of information that can be accessed by all citizens,” said DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire.

“Now more than ever, it’s crucial that all Filipinos act as one to overcome these difficult times. We need to be quick, focused, and united in the way we work together because there is no room for miscommunication and delay when lives are at stake. This is why it’s a very big honor for us to serve our country through this technology,” said Ralph Regalado, CEO of Senti AI.

“Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful has become even more critical during the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope that this partnership with the Department of Health and Senti AI will help connect more Filipinos to locally relevant, timely, and credible information,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director of Google Philippines.

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