Johns Hopkins, IBM launch AI chatbot to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy


Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University and IBM Research unveiled a new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot July 1 that the two organizations developed to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. 

The chabot, named Vira, aims to get resources to people who are vaccine hesitant, especially young adults from communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, according to a news release emailed to Becker's Hospital Review

IBM worked with public health and vaccine researchers at the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to create Vira. The team collaborated with front-line healthcare workers from urban American communities to create the chatbot and then trained Vira using a database of more than 150 common questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. The data was then mapped to more than 300 responses varying in culturally appropriate language, framing and tone, according to the news release. 

Click here to interact with Vira and learn more about its resources.


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