On Monday, French researchers launched a voice assistant that can assist callers suffering from novel COVID-19 symptoms and guide them towards emergency services or doctors utilizing artificial intelligence.
Anyone in France can now summon the “AlloCovid” service designed by French research institute Inserm, the University of Paris, and French railway company SNCF. On the phone, an enchanting female voice greets the callers with “Bonjour, I’m your virtual AlloCovid assistant … Are you ready to start the questionnaire?”
The callers aren’t asked for the names rather their postcodes. On the basis of their symptoms and pre-existing conditions, they are pointed to the appropriate professionals. The developers of this technology hope that the voice assistant, which is much easily available to older people who prefer traditional telephones than mobile applications or filling forms, will assist authorities to detect new infection clusters after the country exits lockdown on May 11.
The system can manage one thousand calls at a time. Callers’ personal information is sent anonymously to the health authorities and kept for 7 days before being eliminated.
Professor Xavier Jouven, who heads the project, told Le Monde newspaper “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time artificial intelligence is being used to serve public health,”.
The “AlloCovid” number is different from the “StopCovid” mobile contact-tracing app the government wants to launch or the Pan-European PEPP-PT. This technology is regarded as a great step towards using artificial technology for the betterment of the people.