Topicx, a company I co-founded, developed a virtual interviewer (VI) equipped with Artificial Intelligence & Behavioral Models for performing 'human-like' chat in-depth interviews at scale. The initial target market is the consumer research industry.
During the Delta and Omicron waves, the Israeli Ministry of Health (MoH) needed to approach 10,000-35,000 people per day to conduct in-depth contact tracing interviews and identify at-risk populations and their health status. This task was impossible using conventional methods like human interviewers.
The MoH used Topicx unique technology to overcome this challenge. A virtual interviewer (VI) was created with several "interviewing skills: Expression of empathy, e.g., "I am so happy to hear you are feeling ok"; Casual encouragement during the interview, e.g., "you are doing great! Two more questions and we are done"; Probing technique to uncover more information from respondents and provide a feeling that the virtual interviewer is attentive.
The VI approached 10,000-35,000 people per day through WhatsApp, conducting a range of interviews: from people positive for covid to parents of children whose class has been suspicious of infection. Interviews were conducted in English, Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. Although the VI introduced itself as a "bot" at the beginning of each conversation, 57% of respondents referred to the VI as a human being (e.g., "thank you Anna for contacting me") and shared rich and authentic data with the VI . The data by interviews were used for daily decision support regarding the management of the pandemic.