I was inspired by the idea of self-care during COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges, including increasing the burden on our mental health. This is difficult for everyone but especially for individuals already facing mental health challenges, so I wanted to make something to aid in mental health.

What it does

This is a chatbox with Natural Language Processing capabilities that quizzes the user on simple and easy information. The idea is to interrupt an obsessive thought loop, which can happen to anyone but is more likely for people dealing with anxiety or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This quiz technique is one therapy technique for handling obsessive thoughts, but not everyone can ask someone to quiz them (maybe they live alone or are uncomfortable asking someone, for example). So, having an AI chatbox do the quizzing allows individuals to have easy access to a mental health technique at their comfort level.

How I built it

I built the chatbox using Twilio Autopilot, which uses javascript and json. It also has a simple training feature to train the bot on language for basic Natural Language Processing. I then connected the bot to Google Assistant and finishing designed and deploying the chatbox as an Action.

Challenges I ran into

This project went through multiple iterations of design before I settled on the current version. I wanted to use AI, but this is my first time learning AI and I'm also not familiar with Python, so I chose Twilio because it seemed the most approachable option. This was my first time using javascript, so syntax threw me off a few times. I also hadn't used Google Assistant before, so linking the two together took some troubleshooting.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm really proud of all the new things I learned this weekend through this project and the workshops! I made my first piece of AI that responds to human language, which is very exciting to me.

What I learned

I learned a lot about AI, ML, and NLP this weekend. I also learned some javascript and worked with 2 new platforms (Twilio and Google Assistant).

What's next for Distract Me Autopilot

I want to expand out the quizzes and options for more freedom of choice for the user.

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