Talk about Tech for Good: AI chatbot helps Save the Children fight online abuse 24/7

October 14, 2020 | 3 minute read
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By Sarah Griffiths, Oracle for Startups, Senior Writer

Thousands of children are victims of sexual offenses online every year. But while social media and other digital platforms have given abusers another avenue to hurt victims, technology can also help heal some of the pain.

BotSupply – a thriving member of Oracle for Startups – is using its AI chatbot technology to bolster Save the Children Denmark’s SletDet or ‘Erase It’ initiative, which is designed to combat digital-based sexual offenses.


The new fight against online abuse

The initiative was set up to help children and young adults understand their rights if someone is posting their pictures online without their consent, as well as aid in deleting them, and help young adults limit the damage these difficult situations can cause. But it was only staffed three days a week.

The charity is now using BotSupply’s technology, which runs on Oracle Cloud, making it easy for Oracle customers and partners across four continents to build multilingual chatbots without any coding. The charity’s aim was to break down the barriers preventing victims from reporting incidents, seeking advice, and accessing information to help them deal with cyber bullying and online abuse, by making its service available 24/7.

BotSupply worked with the Save the Children team to co-create the Danish speaking chatbot for its customer-facing website, in order to detect and solve the most common requests. 

This means that if a teenager has discovered someone has uploaded an image of them that they do not want online, the chatbot can guide them about what they should do, such as how to report it to a social media platform, or by setting up a meeting with a counsellor, Pragya Mishra, Head of Growth at BotSupply explains. “It truly can guide the user in a non-intrusive way to help them solve a problem,” she adds. 


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Benefits of the chatbot

“Sometimes, millennials find it easier to talk to a chatbot than to a real human, because it lets you reach out and find the solution you’re looking for without fear of judgement,” Mishra says. Being a robot, the chatbot has no values or views of its own, making it less intimidating to talk to than an adult for many teenagers. “When you’re at that age you don’t want to go to someone who is your parents age so that’s a barrier,” she said. 

So far, the hi-tech approach seems to be working. Within three months of launching, the charity hit its main KPI of 80% of users having a short conversation with the bot, and monthly user requests to SletDev increased by a factor of seven.

Sophie Høilund, Save the Children, Denmark, says: “Our chatbot creates great value for us because it empowers us to reach users that we wouldn't normally get to. We therefore have a wider outreach and can help more children and young people with digital sex offenses through the chatbot.”


The technology

BotSupply’s conversational AI platform runs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and is integrated with the Oracle Digital Assistant and bots platform, providing the scalability and security enterprises demand. 

The Oracle infrastructure services, including GPU-powered bare metal instances and Autonomous Database, help BotSupply to deliver real-time engaging and relevant experiences, creating great interactions between the user and the bot with no lag times, irrelevant data or security issues. 

“Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is extremely solid, so we can be certain our customer’s data is always safe and private—that’s all taken care of,” said Francesco Stasi, cofounder, BotSupply. “We are at the forefront of a tech revolution … Talking with a computer and one that not just understands you, but emotionally understands you, is where we are going,” says Stasi. 


The future

The bot has been such a success that the Save the Children team plans on installing another chatbot on its Facebook page.

While BotSupply helps companies in many industries across the globe build multilingual chatbots, helping Save the Children has the added ROI of using tech for good, which is a value BotSupply keeps top of mind, said Mishra. 

 “We are already helping shape the way humans interact with the world around them,” she adds, noting the Save the Children bot as proof. “Children are moving towards this kind of behaviour and tech can help solve emotionally difficult problems,” she says. 

“Innovation that betters business is great. Innovation that helps humanity is exceptional.”

To learn more about AI for your business, visit the Oracle AI page. 

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