In 2020-2021, Canada had 2.18 million students (Statista) enrolled in post-secondary institutions. As schools open to in-person classes, students will once again spend long hours studying on campus and hosting social events as well. In-person activities come with lots of benefits, and we are very eager to get life back to how it was before the pandemic. But there are legitimate concerns we didn't realize we had until we were getting prepared for our own in-person evening classes and gatherings. Our schedules with our friends often don't match up, and walking alone late at night will be the norm for us for the next few months - we'd rather walk alone silently than wake up our friends by calling them just to feel safer. We hope that SafeLine.ai is a means for any student, regardless of the time or location, to feel safe and protected while enjoying campus life!
What it does
Students can call our SafeLine.ai hotline 24/7 at +1 226-212-SAFE (7233) when they feel unsafe walking alone, usually after a late night study session at the library or an in-person gathering (read: party).
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Some of the challenges we faced was programming the script with OpenAI and connecting it to Twilio to make the bot interactable with the human voice. This was achieved with webhooks. The biggest challenge we faced was being able to simultaneously transfer a live call from SafeLine.ai to a first-responder and send a text message with the user's relevant data. Twilio Tasks can only send one request at a time, and we had to find a workaround for that. We eventually figured out a way with a JS function and TwiML.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our team is very proud of integrating all the sub-systems such as the AI-powered bot and the database to a well-designed user interface. Additionally, we are proud to fully execute all the points we wanted to cover and produce a product that can have positive social implications. Getting call routing to work at the same time as texting was a big one. Also, being a serverless system and not needing wifi once you're signed up is an accomplishment we're proud of!
What we learned
What's next for SafeLine.ai
Future planned features for SafeLine.ai include an improved voice synthesis engine (we're looking at ResembleAI or Google Cloud Voice), GPS tracking as soon as the user calls the hotline (similar to 911), call transcriptions for operators (available in Twilio) to gain more context. Other features like texting and interacting with the bot via messaging would be introduced as well.
"when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing" - some guy from Toronto
"Number of students enrolled in postsecondary institutions in Canada from 2000 to 2020" https://www.statista.com/statistics/447739/enrollment-of-postsecondary-students-in-canada/#:~:text=This%20statistic%20shows%20the%20total,in%20postsecondary%20institutions%20in%20Canada.