Project Description

This project came out of my first hackathon ever, Hack the North. The goal was to build a chatbot using the Micrsoft Azure Service and their Chatbot API. The end product was a bot that could be told to check up on somebody's recent activities, and the bot would return with a summary of their recent posts on social media. This massively simplifies the process of having to navigate through multiple different gesture-filled social platforms and enables those with disabilities to stay connected with the world.

01. Brainstorming

We knew we wanted to build some a chatbot, but we spent a lot of time coming up with the best possible application of the technology. We concluded that the primary purpose of any chatbot is to streamline the user experience and super-simplfying it. This led us to our application of choice: helping people with mental disabilities stay connected to the rest of the world via a simple conversation with a bot.

02. Problem-Solving

Having never used the LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service) or the Microsoft Azure Service, the project was a steep learning curve in all aspects. Progress was slow at first, but after we got the natural language processing to work and the bot finally responded with a rudimentary answer, things got more exciting. The next challenge was to integrate the the captionbot so that we could pull a description out of the images that were scraped from social media.

03. Final Product

While we didn't end up finishing the project before the hackathon deadline, we were able to get a basic version working for the demo. The Microsoft team said they were really interested in our idea and wanted us to keep building it. Now that the event is over, I am continuing to develop the bot with help from some members of their developer evangelists.

Interested? Read more about it on Devpost!