AIClub Anudi is a junior finalist at the global Technovation Competition 2021.
COLBY is an AI powered chat bot created by Anudi to help people feeling lonely during the COVID pandemic and isolation.
Anudi's Project Video
AIClub Anudi Final Pitch Video
All About Anudi
"My name is Anudi Nupearachchi and I am fourteen years old. I study at Sujatha Vidyalaya Nugegoda. I live in Colombo, Sri Lanka with my family. I have 2 elder twin sisters and I am the youngest. I am an upper school student of Sujatha Vidyalaya, Nugegoda. Inventing things is my passion and I love to learn about new technologies.
When I was 11, I used to do small electronic projects and then I learnt arduino & electronics basics from Igniter Space. I did further research on arduino.Then I started learning Python, which is a high-level general purpose programming language, and proceeded from the basics to advanced theories like object-oriented programming from online courses. I learnt some basics about data science for AI.
Because of the global ongoing COVID-19 pandemic social distancing & lockdown, caused people to feel lonely. Then I created a chatbot named COLBY to cheer up people who feel lonely.
I did some research about loneliness to get some knowledge to make the best out of my chatbot for the users. And I did a survey to find out more information about how a person feels when they’re lonely and their ideas for a chatbot to help people feel less lonely.I had to learn Kivy (GUI development platform for python) to create a mobile package and I succeeded including the kivy materials for my python program of the chatbot. I made the chatbot app along with the help of Dr.Nisha Talagala, Dinusha Wegadapola and Amit Gupta from AIClub who were mentoring me to make the COLBY app.
Colby stands for “’Cure of Loneliness”. Colby is a chatbot who was built to cheer people up and lessen loneliness in times of a pandemic. Colby’s main function is to detect the mood of the User by using AI. If the user feels lonely, suggestions are provided to help come out of the state of loneliness. Emergency help lines are included for users who immediately need to connect with a counselor . The user can proceed to interact with Colby afterwards. Colby asks questions like hobbies,ambitions etc. The chatbot asks if the user is feeling lonely because of the pandemic and provides motivation that the pandemic will be over soon.
If the user needs some immediate help the user might not want to chat with a robot, so we have included the numbers given by Sri Lanka Sumithrayo & CCC line in a separate page in the app. Colby also tells about the numbers & more facts to get out of the state of the mind when he’s interacting with the user.
With the help of the AIclub navigator I included artificial intelligence in my main code so Colby can understand if the user is feeling lonely or not from the given user input. Colby acts according to the user’s feelings. The AI uses NLP to understand the user’s sentence and communicate precisely.
I knew python by a standard, so I thought of creating the app using python but I didn’t know any framework to use to build apps with python. I found that kivy was a multiplatform GUI library framework for python. Then I did some research on kivy and built my app’s layout with the help of Adobe photoshop artboards I created before coding it with kivy. It was a challenge for me to learn a whole new thing since I haven’t worked with mobile apps before. I 3d modelled Colby from a software and made Colby more friendly for the user.
People said it was a good app especially in this current pandemic. Sri Lanka Sumithrayo said that it was a great thing to include their service to people in an urgent need to talk to someone to get proper advice.
I like to improve my app to be usable with the sinhala language and apply more natural language processing to avoid Colby’s confusion when communicating. Since I have 3d modelled Colby and animated him I would like to add more animations into the app so Colby could entertain the user.
I found it really interesting to build the layout of the app with kivy design language and program the app functions and include AI. I even learnt many debugging tools with android & IOS.
To learn a specific field you're interested in, everything is there on the internet and we have the facilities with us to learn something new. There are educational websites such as AIClub that teach you the basics of coding an AI to help start your programming journey.
I like to be a robotics engineer and create new AI intelligent machines."