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Chatbot To Help Workers Released

Community Law Centres o Aotearoa in partnership with Citizen AI has this week released a new chatbot for people having problems at work.

Workbot provides information about your rights and responsibilities as an employee. It uses easy to understand language in a conversational format. You can chat to Workbot through Facebook Messenger http://m.me/workbot.nz or at https://workbot.nz/.

Chief Executive of Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, Sue Moroney, believes Workbot will help improve access to quality legal information in an innovative format. "Thousands of people across the country are asking questions about employment law on their smartphones everyday.” says Sue. “Workbot is a fantastic response to this need and part of the future of access to justice in Aotearoa”.

Workbot is the second of three legal information chatbots produced with funding from the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation. The first chatbot, Rentbot (https://www.rentbot.nz/chat/ or https://www.facebook.com/rentbotnz/) was released last year and has already helped nearly 20,000 Kiwis with tenancy questions.

“We believe everyone should enjoy the protection and opportunity that the law provides. The chatbots make it easy to access free, accurate legal information - essential to helping people understand and access their rights. We were excited to support this innovative work,” said Michelle Wanwimolruk, Chief Philanthropic Officer for the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation.

Workbot has been developed by Citizen AI, a charitable organisation whose mission is to use artificial intelligence for public benefit. Citizen AI Executive Director Geoffrey Roberts says "Workbot is a great example of how we can leverage advances in natural language processing to create a tool that helps those experiencing problems in the workplace. This project also takes our technology a step further by including a case assessment feature that helps people understand employment law and how it relates to common problems at work. Workbot can help tackle the types of problems many people face as an employee and is available for a chat 24/7."

Background

Twenty-four Community Law Centres work out of over 140 locations across New Zealand to provide free legal help and advice to those who are unable to pay for a private lawyer or who do not have access to legal aid. This advice covers all aspects of New Zealand’s legal system, including family law, employment issues, housing problems, consumer advice and criminal law. As well as around 200 staff, Community Law’s services are boosted by over 1,200 volunteer lawyers who run clinics and deliver free advice and assistance.

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