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Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs - Creative Team of the Year

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Company: Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, Seef, Bahrain
Company Description: The Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs (MYS), employs approximately 300 people who are largely involved with coordinating and implementing youth and sports activities and facilities, awarding financial grants and ensuring adherence to regulations. MYS is responsible for supervision of all 52 national sports clubs and 36 youth centers, including four flagship centers.
Nomination Category: Creative Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Creative Team of the Year

Nomination Title: AskMYS Bot

Tell the story about what this nominated team has achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Ask MYS is an artificial intelligence chatbot project that was initially launched in 2017 by Ministry of Youth & Sport Affairs as part of the services provided through the ministry’s official mobile application. MYS always strives for innovation and uniqueness in providing services to the youth and therefore MYS is the first ministry in Bahrain that start implementing artificial intelligence in their services. This project was a fruit of the creativity of the IT department team and the cooperation of the Youth Affairs department within the Ministry by using latest technology “Chatbots” and by providing information relevant to the youth to be within reach, presented in an easily mannered way. Information varies from services and programs offered for the youth by the government entities and the private sector.

To begin with, this project was initially a static detailed directory which served as a youth guide. The youth guide provides relevant info to the youth. The youth guide was organized in a hierarchy tree order and organized into categories based on the researches and surveys the Youth Affairs department has conducted to appropriately design the structure of the youth guide. It consists of main categories such as Education, Sports and Health, Entrepreneurship, Professional certificates, Entertainment and Employment. Each category contained sub-categories that showed information such as brief description, contact details and location. The information presented varies depending on the type of the category and what the youth are looking for. However, doing the presentation of the youth guide as the old-fashioned way an informative directory does not appeal to the youth today. A directory of thousands of pages is useless; who would have the time to go through all of them? Youth today grew up in a highly sophisticated powered by technology environment. They would rather get the information in an instant rather than having to wait for it.

To simplify the youth guide presentation, the use of artificial intelligence and chatbot idea has emerged. Chatbots represent a great opportunity for the ministry to reach the youth where already are in the messaging apps. In addition, it allows to deliver services in highly personalized manner where the message, operations and human support can be combined in one experience. Also, chatbots are automated solutions, they are able to handle numerous conversations at once, and simultaneously. Chatbots function as human agents and the youth can get interact with it simply in a form of conversation as if speaking to a real person. The user access the service through MYS Mobile application, the interface of the Chatbot is similar to instant messaging apps where the user can type a message and send it to the bot. For example, the user initiates the conversation by sending “Hi” or “Hello”. The bot then replies by displaying the menu of the youth guide organized by the guide categories and generates response based on the user selection in human language. The chatbot provides a fun experience to the youth by interacting with it and receiving response.

The bot currently contains the youth guide. However, we would like to expand the bot to contain information about the whole ministry such as providing info about the sports facilities, clubs and youth centers, events, programs, youth statistics. In addition, we would like to replace the ministry’s call center with the chatbot to offer one of a kind support to the users in a form of question and answer to answer their inquiries. This feature will add more intelligence to the bot as it will employ machine learning technology; the bot will learn by itself to adjust itself to answer all types of questions. As well as, integrating it with features such as voice recognition integration and add transactional services through it.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated team since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-First ministry in Bahrain to deploy an artificial intelligence chatbot
-This project is fruit of collaboration between two departments with a total of 4 MYS employees; IT department and Youth Affairs department
-Aligns with the ministry strategy by forming a channel to link between the ministry and the youth needs
-Online chatbots save time and efforts by automating customer support, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human.
-The support of the top management has contributed tremendously during the project initiation phase
-Offers fun and interactive experience to the youth with 90% of user satisfaction
-Answers youth questions anywhere and anytime and available 24*7