Inspiration

  • People waste time every day flipping through FAQ pages looking through for a simple answer or spend hours waiting on their phones on hold with customer support for answers to simple questions. So we thought why not have a chatbot to answer those questions that have been asked and answered million times before.

What it does

  • Our chat bot takes in user input, searches through the knowledge base, and matches up the closest and most accurate result for the consumer through a simple chat client.

How we built it

  • We utilized Microsoft's Azure environment, Microsoft bot framework, and C# to create an intuitive chatbot. We also used Microsoft's knowledge base builder filled with over hundreds of questions and answers to build our library. The bot integrates seamlessly cross-platform (Slack, Messenger, Skype, etc) and can be embedded into web pages for web chat services.

Challenges we ran into

  • We first attempted to write the chatbot in NodeJS but ran into trouble with integrating it with different platforms resulting in our switch to C#. We also had a lot of trouble linking the bot framework with a database.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We had no initial knowledge of Azure's capabilities/tools and no experience with smart bots. As a team of 2, we considered ourselves to be pretty successful after finishing our project.

What we learned

  • We learned a lot more about Microsoft Azure, bots, and how different aspects of software integrated with each other. Particularly after experimenting with different messenger applications with our chatbot and attempting to construct a database.

What's next for Answereddit

  • The next step would have a larger knowledge base and have a more fluid, and trained bot. Currently, it is still static with certain trigger words. If we were able to work on the bot until it developed more natural human language tendencies, it would be much more efficient.

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