University of the Philippines’ COVID-19 chatbot operates with ‘gay speak’ function

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05/25/2020

You can tell today’s technology is improving when it’s taking on uniquely human nuances. Case in point: the University of the Philippines (UP) today announced that its Facebook messenger pandemic response chatbot Yani, which gives information on COVID-19, can now speak in beki or Filipino gay lingo. “LGBT slang or the Beki language option is now available when you converse with Yani! If you’re looking for COVID-19 statistics, the nearest hospitals, links to therapy and counseling, or information on policies, you can talk to Yani,” UP’s Facebook administrators wrote today. Short for bayanihan (“camaraderie”), Yani was engineered by UP Resilience Institute (UPRI), which focuses on climate and disaster risk reduction research for a more “resilient” Philippines.

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