Inspiration

In a time of much fear, threat, and uncertainty, it is normal to feel the burden and an impact on your mental health. These tough times have had its impacts in many ways, and finding ways to de-stress or not feel vulnerable from the isolation can be more difficult than you think. Additionally, millions of frontline workers have to deal with such pressures while putting their lives at risk and dealing with so much more just to put an end to this pandemic. Imagine how difficult this must be on them. Instagram is the number 1 social media platform today, and in the midst of the pandemic average social media use has surged by an increase of over 2 hours. Social media has become a quintessential part of today's time, but its impacts can do more harm than good despite the communication and closeness it brings. Social media influencers are harmful, there is alot of pressure on social media, and sometimes there tends to be more negative than positive on platforms. I wanted to create something fun that could alleviate the feeling of isolation during quarantine without feeling the burden of social media influencers or people that may not understand how you feel. This private platform lets you freely express yourself with no stress, and is completely secure with both login encryption as well as encryption of your thoughts and feelings for utmost privacy. You can safely chat with our conversational chatbot that has access to music, games, helplines, and frontline worker support! Its like a crossover of iMessage games and Instagram!

What it does

iGram provides you a social media feed and conversational chatbot with customizable names all to yourself! With sha-256, feel free to explore your greatest interests (such as art, sports, entertainment, photography, travel, meditation, motivation etc), message your "AI friends" that are made up of games, music, helpline, and frontline worker support, and let out your thoughts and store them in your little "safe space", which is completely encrypted to be made accessible to only you! Additionally, a dynamic chart with chart.js can indicate your stress levels and mood levels on a scale of 100, which can aid in earlier detection of depression. The sha-256 hashing algorithm makes all this possible at the complete privacy of your use, ensuring no others can access your account or information. Additionally, the conversational chatbot developed as a model and trained using keras and tensorflow has its own customized intents to make you feel as if you are messaging your very best friend!

How I built it

I created a basic chatbot model and trained it with keras and tensorflow, then made it deployable to the web with Flask as a backend server and html and css for frontend template. I used html, css, and javascript through out for all the pages for frontend, while working with Flask for backend. For login encryption as well as encryption of the posts users create, I used the sha-256 hashing algorithm, and developed a database with MySQL and sqlite. I developed the chart with chart.js, and used Instagram's API to embed posts onto my home page.

Challenges I ran into

I struggled with making a chatbot that was deployable to the web, as well as working with the encryption and hashing algorithms for data privacy. The css was a tedious process that consumed alot of time, and with the previous struggles, time management became very difficult. I got everything done, but the chart is just a sample with inputted data, and at the moment is just a prototype for what the main purpose of the chart is. However, I got everything running with full functionality and a chatbot that provides a multitude of resources for mental health + help + entertainment.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud of being able to accomplish so much within so little time, especially as a solo competitor. I wanted to create something fun, but still practical, but had no idea if I could accomplish this vision I had in mind in time. I'm very glad that I did.

What I learned

I learned how to create databases with MySQL and encrypt information with hashing algorithms. I also learned how to work with keras and tensorflow and flask to create a chatbot deployable to the web.

What's next for iGram

I would like to make the chart actually functional, as it would be a novel idea in depression detection. I would also like to create an android or iOS app version of this web application. Additionally, instead of sending a link that opens on the same window, it would be great if games or sites could automatically open up on new windows/tabs without any additional trigger.

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