Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation about the virus and its origin has become widespread on the internet. We believe that by learning more about the virus through a conversational system, users will be enabled to stay healthier, help keep others healthy, and become more clearly informed.
What it does
Corona Caretaker is a more natural way to learn about COVID by providing information in an intuitive conversational manner. It combines resources from a variety of sources to give users an unbiased perspective on COVID-19 and its impact on society.
How we built it
We used Google Dialogflow to create a powerful virtual assistant capable of understanding a wide range of inputs. React.js and Redux.js were used to create the website and provide styling. The website is hosted on Google Firebase.
Challenges we ran into
Originally, we intended to deploy on Google Cloud App Engine, however, we kept encountering various errors. When attempting to switch to Heroku, a service one of us had prior experience with, we encountered similar difficulties. After consulting with mentors, we switched to using Google Firebase for an easier deployment experience.
We were going to use the Google Maps JS API and Radar.io to create a map of COVID-19 testing facilities. However, the Maps API did not return results when queried for "covid testing". To solve this, we will have to implement our own database of testing facilities in the future, a task not possible in 48 hours.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
This is the first time any of our team members have used React and Redux. Also, this is the first time we have worked in-depth with several of the Google Cloud products. It was exciting to see all of these services come together to form the submission version of Corona Caretaker.
What we learned
A lot of new technologies were introduced (as mentioned in the previous section). We also gained more experience with deployment and interest in natural language processing. All of us are interested in artificial intelligence/machine learning and hope to explore these topics more in the future with more complex uses of Google Dialogflow and involvement in research.
What's next for Corona Caretaker
Since Google Maps API does not return results when searching for “covid testing”, we plan on creating our own dataset to store these locations. To accomplish this large task, we will likely have to recruit some volunteers. We also plan on adding more resources and information as the pandemic progresses.
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