Kenyan software engineer George Waweru, has developed Telegram bots that allow users to conduct an opinion poll and receive instant results on how the candidates are performing.
With his firm Goldwebafrica.com, the engineer and his team developed a series of bots under MyVote 2017 as a new and innovative way to conduct credible opinion polls whilst reducing the costs of conducting such polls. The bots cut out costs for traveling, analyzing data and other human resource related costs that are normally incurred when doing traditional polls.
“Kenya is going into the electioneering period and I thought that it is a good opportunity to develop the Election polling Telegram bots as a way of showcasing some of the applications that telegram bots can be used for, as well as to make people aware of what bots really are” Waweru told TechMoran. The bots are tailored for every county in Kenya plus some popular constituencies in the country such as Westlands, Langata, and Starehe.
The bots are currently offering polls for presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, women representative, member of parliament and member of county assembly positions with actual data of the candidates from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
How to Participate in the Polls
You will simply need Telegram installed on your phone then you can search for your county or constituency and then append 2017Bot at the end. For example if your county is Nairobi, search for Nairobi then append 2017Bot at the end so that you will have Nairobi2017Bot. Once you have found the bot on telegram click on “start” so that you can interact with the bot and start the polling process. The bot will guide the user on how to conduct the opinion poll and once the user has voted, the bot will send the results to the user in form of a chat showing how each candidate has performed.
The Future: What Next After the Elections?
“I am looking to extend the idea of doing polls using Telegram and Facebook Messenger bots into the business world and explore other areas where such ideas can be implemented, ”he said adding that he plans to do sponsored polls for individuals, government institutions, and corporate institutions.