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Current COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption around the word. It’s probably the biggest tragedy of the modern time, which teaches us some bitter lessons: that we are all here together on a small rock called Earth and our survival depends on our cooperation and mutual support.

The irony is that today’s biggest threat comes from a tiny virus, and not from a hypothetical enemy’s latest super-bomb. Whether you are a super-power nation or a tiny island state, in today’s globalised world everyone is equally vulnerable, unless we combine our efforts and fight together against the common threats.

Key workers at the medical and research institutions are the real heroes, who risk now their own health and lives, working day and night to save others. But hospitals face shortages of the staff and equipment, as they are not designed to cope with the pandemic of such scale (whatever is the rhetoric of some political leaders). And it raises some questions, e.g. on the number of the pulmonary ventilators that one could get instead of the latest aircraft carrier.

It will probably take months before we pass the peak of pandemic and get some tested vaccines on our hands, but we’ll go through this together. Scarred, but at the same time stronger and wiser. And hopefully with the new views on the worthy values and priorities: arm race, climate change, sustainable agriculture, disease control, education, etc.

Actually, you can witness some changes already today, with many companies and individuals trying their best to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus.

Some even switch their supply chain and factory capacities to produce goods, not traditional for their industries but in high demand at the medical facilities:

  • The world's biggest fashion retailer Inditex (owner of Zara and Bershka) is starting to produce medical supplies, e.g. masks and hospital gowns (Source: Forbes);
  • Cosmetic and beauty products giant Coty (owner of Gucci, Covergirl, Burberry and Clairol) is to manufacture and supply hand sanitisers (Source: The Street)

Biggest tech giants are also providing their fair share through the relevant platforms and solutions:

  • Amazon has recently launched AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative to facilitate research and diagnostic through the analytics and machine learning solutions (Source: Teresa Carlson);
  • Google uses its Search, Maps and YouTube products to raise awareness of the required measures, send SOS alerts and take down thousands of misleading videos (Source: Sundar Pichai);
  • Microsoft is making its Teams and Power platforms available to thousands in the healthcare and education sectors to share information, provide support to the people in need, and enable remote working and learning (Sources: Satya Nadella and Cindy Rose).

Inspired, I’ve decided to contribute my 5 cents as well and over this weekend tested, documented and then published on my GitHub a detailed instruction on how to build, train and host your own chat bot, so that you can provide your teams and employees with the vital answers on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and from the sources you trust.

My instruction describes how to enable chat bot in your existing Web site or you can clone provided Web template to build a new site with embedded bot from the scratch. Alternatively, you can integrate bot with your existing messaging or chatting platforms, e.g. MS Teams. Details can be found at the GitHub below.

Hosting this bot will not cost you a penny, as I’ve explained how to set FREE pricing tier for the relevant resources in MS Azure. So, if interested, feel free to clone and re-use it to meet your requirements.

Stay safe and healthy!

Best regards, Laziz

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Hackathons

Technologies

azure

Devpost Software Identifier

252767