Inspiration

We're constantly asking each other about important metrics we need to keep our business running. These interruptions cost us time and money. Wouldn't it be nice if we could ask a colleague and not having to worry about interrupting them? What if we could build that colleague?

What it does

Brainbot provides a unified conversational interface to multiple services, so you can get answers across your important metrics - and combine them.

How I built it

A PHP back-end with OAuth connections to external services, running on Google Cloud. Bots connect to Slack via websockets. Language is processed using Stanford's NLP tools. Oh, and there's a text to speech interface, because why not?

Challenges I ran into

Domain names were slow to transfer; getting bots up and running quickly was hard. Maintaining multiple bots as a service is difficult.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

A simple natural language interface; free-text date extraction; oauth interfaces to external services.

What I learned

This is a bigger job than can easily be done over a weekend.

What's next for Brainbot

There wasn't enough time to build it all over a weekend. More services, more nuance to the NLP, more, different kinds of interfaces.

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