Espaitec-linked companies FACSA and SemanticBots have joined to implement the Sayobo chatbot of the Castellón technology-based firm in the TRACKER Project of Grupo Gimeno   

FACSA has developed TRACKER, an innovative environmental monitoring platform to help to fight situations of epidemiological emergency like the recent COVID19 pandemic. This platform combines SARS-CoV-2 clinical monitoring indicators based on indirect wastewater measurements, along with epidemiology indicators and predictive algorithms based on mobility, socio-economic and meteorological data to facilitate the management of health authorities, public administrations and private organisations.

Another objective of this project is to improve the accessibility and usability of the data and information supplied to the users by the TRACKER tool. To do so, the FACSA technology team believed that a good option to make this improvement would be to incorporate a chatbot, which was developed by the Sayobo platform, the spin-off of SemanticBots of the Universitat Jaume I, and co-founded by expert researchers in artificial intelligence from this university’s  Temporal Knowledge Bases Group (TKBG).

Chatbot KII of TRACKER

This chatbot, known as KII, supplements TRACKER and makes it an enabler digital platform to facilitate inquiries in natural language of SARS-CoV-2 data in the wastewaters included on the platform developed by FACSA, as well as other inquiries about the project, and the variables related to the detection or prediction of COVID-19 virus remains in water.

KII is adapted to be able to inquire in both English and Spanish. It responds to more than 100 inquiries in its initial knowledge base. Different groups of people related to the project participated in the design and development of this initial knowledge base. The knowledge of the technicians who developed the TRACKER platform was included in the form of FAQs, as was that of the other FACSA teams that participated in testing the tool to help to provide more information that could adapt to users.

Workshop with experts in wastewater epidemiology 

While the platform was being developed, a workshop was held with experts in wastewater epidemiology to revise other possible inquiries and data that could supply both the tool and chatbot. During this encounter, different Universitat Jaume I (UJI) groups participated: from the Epidemiology and Public Health Area (UJI), the University Institute of Pesticides and Water (UJI) and the MicroBIO Group: Microbiology of Opportunistic Pathogens and their Impact on Human Health (IUPA-UJI). The origin of such multidisciplinary collaboration was the start of the project corresponding to the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition coordinated by Félix Javier Hernández from the IUPA-UJI, which was underway in 2020 since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

Like the TRACKER platform, the chatbot will also evolve with it so that both can increasingly adapt to the information requirements of the different types of customers or users. The Sayobo platform permits the simple inclusion of new inquiries related to the other variables, questions and answers detected by means of users-chatbot interactions. This, in turn, allows administrators to transform them into new knowledge about the artificial intelligence system.

This innovative project has been financed by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 INNO4COV-19 programme and is a unique approach related to the environmental monitoring category. The complete TRACKER platform and chatbot are presently being prepared to be applicable in other municipal areas of the European Union by facilitating and improving access to information about other actions against COVID-19 and similar epidemiological emergency situations in the future.