Teen Creates Bots That Track Covid-19 Stats, and More
At the mere sight of a bot, we cannot help but roll our eyes and prepare to close the chat window in which it appeared. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some helpful versions created by reputed organisations — such as WHO’s WhatsApp bot and Google Rapid Response Virtual Agent — to help people find verified information. And then there are the bots made by young innovators including 13-year-old Joshita Neelam, a Class IX student and a State chess player from Unduru in Andhra Pradesh.
Joshita used the lockdown to enhance her e-learning and create bots. Using her father Babji Neelam’s account, she completed an advanced certification course on RPA (Robotic Process Automation) from Automation Anywhere University. According to a release, she is the youngest in the world to complete the RPA advanced course on the platform.
Speaking to MetroPlus over phone, Joshita shares her interest in emerging technology RPA. “Working on a computer is interesting, but watching a computer work all by itself is even more interesting,” she says.
Says Milan Sheth, executive vice president for India, Middle East, and Africa, Automation Anywhere, “Children of the current age are aware of their surroundings and technology has a profound impact on them. Due to the global pandemic, they have the opportunity to explore unknown avenues which intrigued them earlier. The simplicity of any technology makes it far more accessible and has the power of penetrating across various social demographics.”
Bots for good
Some of the bots crafted by the Lakshya International School student include COVID-19 Tracker Bot which tracks the number of cases. She leveraged a bot to go to Worldometre, a Dadax-operated real-time statistics site, download the data and use a message box to display the number of cases.
Price Alert Bot checks the price of an object. “I used a web recorder to extract data from Amazon and use an Excel bot to verify the price. A message box tells if the price is higher or lower,” she explains.
Her Grade Analysis Bot not only checks students’ scores but also informs them whether they have passed or failed.
Realising her interest in computers, Joshita’s father discussed different types of technologies with her including Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Internet of Things. Having a father in IT helped as she could go to him when she encountered errors.
Joshita says she hopes to be a ‘technology doctor’ eventually. In the meantime, she wants to create more bots including one for her school.
She says, “it is difficult for schools to give progress reports by hand now and sending many emails at a time creates problems. I want to create a bot to do this.”
neeraja murthy, the Hindu