The city of Toronto has launched an official COVID-19 chatbot to help residents and businesses with common questions related to the virus and its impacts.
The chatbot uses AI to answer questions with standard informative answers. It’s trained to answer questions about COVID-19 and city services that have been affected by the pandemic. For instance, you can ask the chatbot if city parks are closed.
It mainly draws from content that is already available on the city’s main website. The city says that the chatbot is new and still learning, and that if you get an answer that wasn’t exactly what you were looking for, you can try to ask it again in different words.
City staff are continuing to train the chatbot and updating the data it has access to. The city notes that the chatbot improves with each interaction.
Mayor John Tory is encouraging residents to use the service for common questions.
The @CityofToronto is making it easier for you to get answers to common health, business support, and City services questions. The #COVID19 Chatbot is here to help and can be found at the bottom right of each #COVID19 City webpage. Learn more at: https://t.co/ynzZDEST26 pic.twitter.com/yXkiFAfrB3
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 10, 2020
If you aren’t able to find what you are looking for, you can search the city’s website for specific information. However, the city notes that you can always call 311 to get answers to any questions you have related to city services. It’s important to note that the chatbot is only available in English, but the 311 service is available in more than 180 languages.
As with any other chatbot related to the virus, the city notes that the information received from the chatbot is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.
Source: City of Toronto