In this exclusive developer interview, we dive deep into the making of Chat Assist, a revolutionary AI-driven web app designed to help people in the UK access information about Universal Credit and other essential services. The app’s developer, Hi9, shares their journey, challenges faced, and future plans for Chat Assist, aiming to empower users and create a more equitable landscape for those in need.
Can you share a brief overview of your AI app and the problem it aims to solve?
Chat Assist is an AI-driven web app developed by Hi9, designed to help people in the UK easily access information about Universal Credit and other essential services. Recognizing the challenges faced by low-income individuals in navigating complex benefits systems, Chat Assist leverages advanced AI technologies, including OpenAI and ChatGPT, to provide tailored, up-to-date guidance in a user-friendly format. By streamlining the process of obtaining crucial information, Chat Assist aims to empower users and improve their access to essential support services. The app is set to expand its offerings in the coming weeks, addressing additional benefits and resources to further assist those in need.
What sets your AI app apart from others in the same domain?
I wish there was other apps and AI solutions in this domain. It’s an area completely ignored.
What sparked your interest in AI, and how did you begin your journey as an AI app developer?
Our history has a strong foundation in the desire to address the complexity and vast amount of information that individuals on benefits have to navigate. Our CEO, Wo King, discovered the potential of AI to simplify these complexities and improve accuracy while working with job centers and homeless shelters. Recognizing the transformative power of AI, Wo King embarked on a mission to harness this technology in order to create user-friendly solutions that empower individuals in need.
What challenges do/did you face during the development process, and how did you overcome them?
Developing Chat Assist involved overcoming challenges such as reaching users to understand their needs, facing institutional resistance due to our innovative approach, and securing funding in a sector dominated by charitable solutions. Our mission is to treat individuals in this sector as valued users, aiming to revolutionize the way they access essential information and services.
How do you envision the impact of your AI app on users’ lives and the broader community?
Our goal is to transform the way citizens interact with the state, particularly by empowering those at the grassroots level. AI has the potential to revolutionize how people access and share information, enabling even the most vulnerable, such as the homeless, to submit accurate applications that adhere to the law. This ensures their requests cannot be easily dismissed. Current access to information for these groups is limited, incorrect, and difficult to obtain. By leveraging AI, we aim to change this situation and create a more equitable landscape.
What future updates or developments do you have planned for your AI app?
We are expanding out Chat Assist and our other apps and services in the next few weeks to create a suite of products we call the Google of the Forgotten. New ideas using AI and Web3 technologies to service a whole new market of under served users and the general public. We are starting in the UK but the US and beyond could also use the services we are creating. We are expanding out Chat Assist to even more knowledge bases and even for it to become an estimator and fill out forms automatically.
Can you share one piece of advice for aspiring AI app developers?
Understand that this revolution is one that will transform society for those who need it most. Be careful in the use of language and data collection to incorporate low income communities in those endeavours.
Chat Assist’s journey is an inspiring example of how AI technology can be harnessed to improve access to essential support services for vulnerable populations. As Hi9 continues to expand its offerings and plans for the future, they remain committed to revolutionizing the way individuals interact with the state and access information. This interview offers valuable insights for aspiring AI app developers and highlights the potential impact of AI on society, particularly for those who need it most.