Cheltenham-based EdTech startup, Digital Woof, is launching an innovative new AI chatbot aimed at parents to help them safeguard children online.
The company, which operates out of Hub8 at The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham, has developed an app called FiDO — which stands for Family Independent Devices Online — to provide free resources and advice on online apps and games to parents and carers.
FiDO has a series of easy-to-understand guides on everything from social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Mastodon; websites like 4Chan and OnlyFans; online games like Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto and Overwatch; cyber security issues like online blackmail, phone scams and the dark web; to online wellbeing, including peer pressure, cyber bullying, body image and photo manipulation, radicalisation and explicit content.
It has now introduced an AI-powered chatbot, so users can ask their own questions on specific subjects — such as 'How do I stop strangers contacting my child on TikTok?' — and receive tailored advice fetched from trusted sources, like the Internet Watch Foundation, NSPCC and platforms themselves, including Meta.
Users can also submit requests for apps, games and platforms they'd like to learn about, so Digital Woof can source content around them and add it to the app.
Digital Woof showcased some of Ask FiDO's functionality at The Arcade at Cheltenham Science Festival, where around 2,000 visitors had the chance to ask the chatbot questions about online safety, before it officially launched to the public on Tuesday 13 June 2023, receiving a wealth of positive feedback.
FiDO is available to download for free via the Apple App Store and Google Play store now.
Ask FiDO chat functionality costs £4.99 per month, with Digital Woof currently offering a seven-day free trial.