New Delhi, March 30: WhatsApp announced a partnership with Girl Effect on Wednesday to debut the artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbot ‘Bol Behen’ (colloquial Hindi for ‘Speak, Sister’) in India to assist adolescent girls and young women with general health and sexual wellbeing concerns and questions.
In a self-paced chat experience on the instant messaging app, the Hinglish language chatbot is aimed to give material on issues such as sexuality, relationships, and reproductive health. Users can also pose their own questions on a variety of subjects.
Users can contact the Bol Behen chatbot by sending a WhatsApp message to +91-7304496601 or viewing its profile on the web.
The new chatbot, according to WhatsApp, is aimed at adolescent girls and young women in India’s Hindi belt, who often use low-end devices with inadequate Internet access.
Bol Behen intends to leverage WhatsApp’s architecture to gain a better understanding of the emotion of the messages it receives in order to respond to users more precisely. It is also expected to reach millions of girls across India in the future, answering their health-related questions and concerns and connecting them to authorised providers.
Girl Effect introduced the Bol Behen chatbot on Facebook Messenger in India for the first time in 2020. It is stated that it has grown to over 100,000 discussions and 1.6 million messages received. The chatbot is modelled after Girl Effect’s first chatbot, Big Sis, which was introduced in South Africa to provide nonjudgmental advise on themes such as sexual health and relationships.
“WhatsApp’s technology offers us the opportunity to forge closer links between girls and the health services they need, providing content that solves her concerns and encourages her to access healthcare, through connection with curated and vetted providers,” said Kanishk Kabiraj, Girl Effect Country Lead for India, in a prepared statement. “This will help us to deliver more seamless, personalised healthcare journeys in the future — for example, leading to girls booking appointments, getting reminders and sharing feedback all within Bol Behen.”
WhatsApp’s chatbots are becoming more popular as a way to provide automated, human-like discussions to its users. The app has incorporated chatbots to assist customers with booking COVID-19 immunizations, fighting pollution, and even booking cab trips.