Following negative global media coverage about Romanians in recent years, an unbiased voice was needed to speak for them and show the world the true colours of Romania. ROM chocolate (a traditional chocolate bar wrapped in the national flag) and McCann Worldgroup Romania, launched ROMBOT: the first artificial intelligence ambassador of a country. ROMBOT is a learning machine that is currently learning from fellow Romanians what makes their country great and worth visiting. Romanians were invited to visit https://rombot.ro and start chatting live with the ROMBOT, who will be asking hundreds of questions about the Romanian way of life: “What do you eat?”; “What music do you listen to?”; “What sports do you prefer”; “What is the most beautiful place in your country?” And it worked! Romanians rallied to teach ROMBOT the truth: close to 1 million answers were registered on the website in the first days and all of them taught the ROMBOT valuable facts about Romania.
At the beginning of 2017, once it accumulates enough information, the ROMBOT will be ready to fulfil its ambassador duties and answer any questions asked by foreigners who will be curious to find out more about Romania, it will recommend places to visit, food, will talk about the people, the customs, their way of life. For the time being, ROMBOT is still learning from 19 million Romanians and, he encourages you to wait for the process to advance, promising a great experience.
Catalin Dobre, Chief Creative Officer, McCann Worldgroup Romania, said: “We can look at it as the greatest social experiment in the world. ROMBOT is like a child. A child raised by 19 million people. Romanians teach it what they think is important, what they consider that defines us as a nation. We are the ones raising this “child”, we’ll have it as we raise it. If we swear, it will swear. If we talk about the good things in Romania, then it will make good recommendations. It’s like a mirror of our society. With the good and the bad parts. We all keep complaining that we don’t have a correct image abroad. Well, this is our chance to build it ourselves. But there is one condition: we can only do it if we unite.” Ioana Filip, ECD at MRM//McCann Romania, added: “We kept the friendly user experience of a chat bot, but ROMBOT’s programming algorithm works exactly the other way around – it gets information about Romania from Romanians and learns to later answer questions from foreigners. The ROMBOT is a national experiment meant to bring people together to define our true values. We wanted to make people aware that we can only change our image if we unite to define what this image should be. We expected the country to be divided on some matters and united on others, which turned out right. We were aware that people might teach it bad things, but it turns out we were very wrong. People took it seriously and taught the ROMBOT valid information about who we are and what defines us.”