TECHNOLOGY

The Swedish Prince Couple’s foundation partners with Sinch and Meta on chatbot to fight cyberhate

The new custom chatbot is part of the #nocyberhate initiative launching today, aiming to encourage dialogue about online bullying and how to stop it.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
November 01, 2021

In January last year, leading Swedish cloud communications platform Sinch launched the world’s first texting switchboard, #TextForHumanity, in collaboration with Mental Health America. It invited people to send positive messages to strangers as a response to the spread of online negativity and connected people from 85 countries, with more than 93,000 positive messages sent and over 50,000 social shares.

They’re now teaming up with Swedish Prince Couple’s Foundation, run by the Swedish Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and Meta (Facebook) on the new initiative #nocyberhate. At the Foundation’s Facebook Messenger page, a custom chatbot, built on Sinch’s conversational AI platform Chatlayer and called Virtual Buddy, is available. It has two tracks, one for adults and one for children and youth. The goal is to create a safer online environment for young people by using technology to encourage conversations and dialogue about cyberbullying and what individuals of all ages can do to recognize and prevent it.

— Building better relationships through authentic conversations is an important part of our mission. Cyberbullying has a profound impact on people of all ages — with this initiative, we hope to help foster a productive, genuine dialogue about the impact of cyberbullying and how to fight it. We are convinced that the first step of fighting cyberbullying is to make it a subject that can be talked about freely, says Jonathan Bean, chief marketing officer at Sinch. 

— The digital component is a crucial part of the next phase of #nocyberhate. A tailormade chatbot developed and designed specifically for our needs makes it possible for us to offer an intuitive tool for a closer conversation between adults and children and youths, which is a key to create a safer online climate, says Kim Waller, secretary-general at the Swedish Prince Couple’s Foundation.

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