Made for HackUCI 2020! However, I could not take part in the Expo this year.


We're familiar with chat bots as online entertainment or for customer service. But can they also be used for companionship and mental health?

What it does

FriendBot/ELIZA is a mock therapist inspired by her namesake, but much more supportive and friendly than an old-school Rogerian psychotherapist. ELIZA can detect the user's general mood and respond in a supportive way. She challenges negative statements that users makes about themselves and encourages discussion about what they like instead. Because she imitates the personality and professionalism of a therapist, she deflects comments made about herself back at the user. Her domain is also very limited to a casual talk or therapy session. Though ELIZA is not certified to solve your problems, hopefully she can be a source of entertainment.

How I built it

This chat bot was built with Python. It uses TextBlob, a wrapper for the NLTK library.


A chat bot's eloquence can be endlessly improved since there are so many nuances in linguistics, and the project sometimes lost sight of when to stop. Importing FriendBot/ELIZA into Renpy was also more difficult than anticipated.


I am proud of this project because it was the first first chat bot I've made.


Beyond the new technologies I used, I learned a lot about the field of chat bots and Natural Language Processing.

What's next for FriendBot/ELIZA

I put FriendBot/ELIZA into Renpy first as a proof of concept, but FriendBot/ELIZA is coming to Discord next. Discord's form of communication would suit her much better.

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