3/6/2018 Lecture Notes: Chat bots and conversational interfaces

12:30-12:45: Housekeeping

  • Review of last assignment
    • Reminder: You need to post the link in Blackboard too, in addition to Slack Chat! If you didn’t do that, please don’t forget tomorrow!
    • A couple of you have already turned in.
    • Connor
    • Cara
  • Finds from slackchat

12:45-1:10: Chat bots: the context

  • Tech Crunch bot
  • Most major news providers are experimenting with bots. See a few stories about that.
  • Conversational interfaces – KPBC
    • See slides 114-131 in the 2016 KPBC’s Internet Trend report.
    • KPCB predidts that by 2030, 50% of jobs we do today will be replaced by robots.
    • Today’s chatbots are accurate 95% of the time. When speech recognition gets to 99%, we will all be using voice much more often than our thumbs to get information.
  • Amazon Alexa Skills
  • The Knight Center for Journalism even offered a MOOC on chat bots for journalism.
  • Quartz has a Bots News Lab dedicated to making bots.
  • They use Dexter, and it has an interface that lets you enable your chat bot for Alexa. It looks like there’s a good quickstart guide to create a bot. We will experiment with this on Thursday.
1:10-1:30: Let’s make a chat bot!

1:30-1:50: Start working on your own chatbot

  • Use ChatFuelDexter or another chat bot creator your find to make a bot that works with Facebook Messenger. Publish a blog post that has a link to the bot. Explain the purpose of the bot, what information problem it tries to solve, and what you learned in the process of creating it.
  • Make it informative about a specific topic, or representative of an organization or person (make sure you have permission).