Dobbs Ferry teen creates ‘chatbot’ to simplify COVID-19 information

A Dobbs Ferry teenager is turning to technology to help relay excessive information related to coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Sep 9, 2020, 7:25 PM

Updated 1,357 days ago

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A Dobbs Ferry teenager is turning to technology to help relay excessive information related to coronavirus.
Martin Mashalov, 16, is an aspiring computer programmer. He created a chatbot that answers questions regarding the COVID-19 virus, test site locations and more.
"I saw that there was a need for a chatbot or something related to that for COVID 19, and I just thought it was a good opportunity to help people and boost my skills,” says Mashalov.
He tells News 12 the chatbot gives access to current numbers, users can debunk myths and donate to the coronavirus cause, adding, "It gives you a lot of different options. All you have to do is provide a ZIP code.”
Martin’s mother says the program is her son’s way of making a difference during the pandemic.
“This was just his way to reach out, outside of his home…outside of his house,” says Elena Mashalov.
The program uses WhatsApp messenger system, and information on the chatbot is updated daily. Resources come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
News 12 is told the chatbot launched about three weeks ago and has since acquired 50 to 100 users.


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