Chatbot Sophia is here to help put a stop to violence against women.
The Quezon City government, the Embassy of Switzerland, SPARK! Philippines and Spring ACT launched have launched the chatbot to empower victim-survivors of domestic violence by facilitating the collection of potential evidence and providing them access to crucial resources and support.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmote thanked her partner agencies for the project and for choosing Quezon City as the new hub of Chatbot Sophia.
It is a computer program that interact with users through messaging platforms or applications and provides automated responses based on the data provided.
Chatbot Sophia offers support in numerous languages, including Filipino. Victims can chat with her about the signs of abuse, the steps to take to leave an abusive relationship, and how to help a friend.
It also helps victims in gathering and storing potential evidence of the abuse, informs them about their rights, and guides them to the nearest support available.
Belmonte commended this “groundbreaking technology” for providing a platform that could help safeguard and protect the lives of women and girls.
“Quezon City is taking the lead in incorporating AI to improve service delivery to its people and we are delighted that this extends to the realm of gender equality, of which we are among the country’s leading advocates,” Belmonte said.
Rhiana Spring, founder of Sophia, said her group conducted extensive research and collaborate with experts of domestic violence, psychology and technology to come up with this program.
“We ensured that Sophia was not only technologically advanced but also emotionally intelligent. Programming allows us to interact with users in a way that is understanding and respectful and sensitive to the complexities of domestic violence,” Spring said.
She also said the chatbot, aside from offering assistance, underscores the commitment to empower survivors and give them the support they need to heal and to be empowered.
Sophia is available 24/7, anonymously, and without leaving a digital trace.
Its anonymity and user-centric design ensure that victim-survivors can seek assistance without fear.