As a group of immigrants ourselves, we know the problems in finding essential resources upon arrival in Canada, and how a language barrier can infinitely complicate issues.
What it does
We decided to create a friendly chat bot using IBM Watson Assistant that can freely communicate in the top 10 languages spoken by African communities. This chat bot redirects the user to affordable accommodations and (W.I.P.) the best education around.
How we built it
Using IBM Watson Assistant. We chose AirBNB for accommodation options because we realize that the majority of immigrants would likely not be looking immediately for full-time housing or even apartment rentals without at least viewing the aforementioned accommodations. AirBNB is a relatively safe option as it provides a cheap fare per night and is meant to be short-term (while the user looks for more long-term accommodation).
Challenges we ran into
Issues with the assistant, including decision tree management, and learning an entirely new software platform from scratch. Another issue we ran into was translation into different languages. We also had to overcome the issue of gathering data from websites.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of the fact that we've completed the entire framework for finding affordable accommodation according to simplistic filters on accommodation. Also, we are proud that we were able to translate into different languages in the end. In the showcase, only Spanish is shown to be fully working, but this is only due to time constraints - given more time, we would've easily done the same for all other languages - French, Swahili, Igbo, etc...
What we learned
We learned how to use IBM Watson Assistant, were introduced to node.js, and the entire IBM Cloud framework.
What's next for Crib Finder for African Newcomers
Completion of translation into all languages. Full implementation of schooling aspect. Potentially a website to host this chatbot on for ease of use and QoL design changes.