A new chatbot for students’ school problems has been launched, and Wagbot is here to listen.
Community Law Wellington launched Wagbot to give students and parents someone to talk to about schools in Aotearoa.
With the knowledge base of the chatbot’s AI built around content from their book about school problems, Wagbot will also learn as it converses with people.
Community Law Wellington GM Geoffrey Roberts says the bot will only get better at understanding and advising on students’ problems.
“Wagbot can understand natural language and gets smarter over time the more people chat to it. There is nothing out there quite like this in New Zealand.”
Technical development lead Matthew Bartlet says Wagbot is able to relate to people in conversational language and connect people-in-need with the right resources and information.
“This chatbot works well as a way of informing people about their options in a conversational way. It’s very quick to respond, can chat to multiple people at once and you don’t need to download an app as it is freely available through Facebook Messenger.”
Wagbot has been learning from New Zealand teenagers in the last few weeks, by having conversations with them and getting a better understanding of their situations.
Bartlett says the algorithm behind the chatbot is constantly learning from conversations like this and getting better at talking to people and figuring out what they need.
“Wagbot uses machine learning algorithms to improve its understanding and usefulness. We also have access to thousands of call logs from our Student Rights phone line that when fed to Wagbot make it even smarter.”
We briefly ‘interviewed’ Wagbot and asked some questions about problems at school. The system was surprisingly clever and responded effectively with the phone numbers of support organisations and suggested courses of actions for anything we asked about.
Community Law Wellington’s next challenge is to see if Wagbot can devour and learn a 900-page law manual to be able to advise on common legal issues.
If you or a student would like to talk to Wagbot - Follow this link and log into Messenger.
Remember there are people your students can talk to when they are struggling, it’s a good time to remind them of these resources: