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Meet Yani, the AI Member of UPRI’s EndCov Team



University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI), a proactive hub of benchmark innovation information for the country, recently introduced the world to their newest member, Yani. Short for bayanihan, Yani is an artificial intelligence (AI) machine that the public can access through Facebook messenger, providing relevant and timely information regarding Covid-19.


Through Facebook’s Messenger application, users simply press the Get Started button and are greeted by Yani saying, “I’m Yani, short for baYANIhan and named in honor of our heroes in the fight against Covid-19. I am an AI member of UPRI’s EndCov Team.”

Yani explains that it can help users find information regarding government policies on public health, transportation, and economic support. The AI member can link users to psychologists if users are looking for mental and emotional support, and also help find hospitals near the user should they enable location sharing on their device. Yani works like other chatbots, with the prompts providing easy access to information. It can talk in both Filipino and English.

If you press the button looking for therapy or counseling, Yani provides a link to a form you will need to fill up to avail of UP Diliman Psychosocial Service’s (UPD PsycServ) free telepsychotherapy designed for those affected or disturbed by the pandemic.

The power of AI is best understood not as technology that will replace the work of people, but as technology that complements the work of people. It optimizes efficiency so that users can get to the right people right away, such as specialists who can help them manage the anxiety and stress of the current situation.

Yani can be accessed on Facebook messenger through or on the website

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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