- From http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201709280014.aspx
28 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Thursday launched an artificial intelligence (AI) "chatbot" on social messaging app LINE to provide information and answer questions about flu vaccination.The chatbot, jointly developed by the CDC and smartphone vendor HTC Corp.
At present, the chatbot only interacts in Chinese.An annual free flu vaccination program will kick off Oct.
1, and it is hoped that the launch of the chatbot will help boost the number of people vaccinated this year, Lo told CNA.This year, around 25 percent of the population, or six million people, is expected to qualify for the government-funded free flu vaccination program, he said."People will want to ask many questions, and perhaps it is not enough to rely only on the center's 1922 hotline, local health bureaus or doctors to answer their questions," Lo said.He said the CDC is aiming in particular to raise the vaccination rate among people between the ages of 19 and 49 who have chronic diseases.The vaccination rate among this group is around 10 percent-20 percent at present, but the CDC hopes to increase this to about 40 percent-50 percent, which is roughly the vaccination rates of other high-risk groups, he said.There are, however, limits to the interactions with the chatbot.
If the question is too complicated or includes too many keywords, it might have trouble understanding and responding, Lo acknowledged.In that case, the chatbot will suggest calling the 1922 hotline, he said.In the future, besides information about flu vaccination, the CDC also aims to provide information about other vaccines, such as hepatitis B and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccines, through the chatbot, Lo said.Edward Chang (張智威), president of HTC Research and Healthcare, said his company hopes to use its AI technology to help improve healthcare information access for people in Taiwan.