UM students develop #MeTooMaastricht Chatbot
Students of Maastricht University's (UM) Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering have developed a so-called chatbot for victims of sexual violence. This automated conversation partner supports the victims and refers them, if requested, to organisations that can provide information about the consequences of and coping with traumatic events. These events can range from rape to verbal harassment at work, for example.
What does the chatbot do?
The chatbot analyzes the victim's answers and identifies, for example, the type of violence, the location and the time at which the event may have taken place. This information is processed anonymously with the help of algorithms and helps in deciding the optimal referral to social institutions.
In the long term, the goal is to make the tool freely accessible through a secure server without commercial purpose. Before that happens, the bot must first be further developed and tested. Researcher Jerry Spanakis: "In this way, we mainly want to help people and contribute to a safer society." There is already a lot of interest in this new bot abroad.