BENGALURU : While the new-age internet influx has witnessed information dissemination at a wider scale, the worries of fake news and unverified sources only seem to grow. Breaking the bubble of myths and false claims is Yash Jaiswal, a student of Information Science Engineering at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Yelahanka, who secured first place at the International COVID-19 Research Projects.
The 20-year-old has won a cash prize of $200 at the international hackathon that was conducted virtually by University of California Berkeley in April. Jaiswal and his team also donated an additional $200 of the prize money to Charity Waters, a charity trust.
Jaiswal’s innovation, Converse, is a NLP – Natural Language Processing – based voice/chatbot hosted on a phone number to distribute reliable news and safety measures to the public. “My version is designed for people to use it without the internet by placing a phone call to the designated number,” says Jaiswal, who teamed up with three other students from the USA and Indonesia for the hackathon, which saw over 900 global participants.
“Users can ask the bot any question with an ordinary phone to get the details. COVID news updates are provided and the bot can also be used to procure essential supplies as it connects you with the nearest vendor on request,” he says.