Quotes from famous people contain wisdom, philosophy, the evolution of human thought in a nutshell, or -sometimes- just some funny things! In any case, quotes can stimulate reflections, can motivate ourself, can give that little something that can make our day better. This idea gave me the inspiration to develop Quote Encyclopedia. I believe that it could be useful, funny and relaxing to have a little "oracle" at home, where people can ask for a small piece of wisdom: a quote. Quotes Encyclopedia offers something more than other quotes applications or skills. It help users in browsing quotes, by author, by topics. It helps users to deepen the study of an author, and allow users to send them to their email address, to "save" what they have just listened.

What it does

Quotes Encyclopedia offers to the user the access to more than 98'000 quotes, 28'000 authors, 1'000 topics. Users can ask for a random quote, or can browse by author, by topic, or by both author and topic. Users can ask to Quotes Encyclopedia to send the quote to their own email address. Users can "ask for more" quotes of the same topics or of the same authors: that helps users to deepen the knowlede of an author. When users don't understand the name of the author, they can ask the skill to repeat it.

How I built it

I build Quotes Encyclopedia using:

  • Alexa Developer Console, to develop the front end
  • Amazon AWS service to develop the backend
  • AWS lambda for the backend functions
  • AWS dynamo DB to organize quotes

Challenges I ran into

The most challenging parts of developing Quotes Encyclopedia were:

  • develop a "spoken-based" interaction, finding the best intent and the related utterances to give a good experience to the users
  • find the right structure of the skill, specially using the right slots
  • manage all the quotes-database, in order to have a fast query system. All the quotese have been uploaded to the dynamo database, after a preprocessing of the quotes on a local machine. Database is structured in order to avoid any scan of the database, making all the selection (also the random one) querying the database.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud of the smooth user experience of the skill, of the organization of the database, of the fast-query scripting and also on the different features of the skill.

What I learned

I learned how to develop a skill with ISP and how to optimize web based application using AWS services.

What's next for Quotes Encyclopedia

Quotes Encyclopedia has a continuous-growing database, and it can be enriched with different spoken interaction. In the next weeks, the database will be enriched with more quotes and the backend will be added with other pleasant interactions.

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