Inspiration

Leif is a personal assistant to help ex-offenders to break the cycle of recidivism and turn over a new leaf in life.

What it does

Leif tackles the problem of social inclusivity in two ways: connecting ex-offenders to others with similar experiences, and helping ex-offenders find their place in the workplace through job matching and interview prep. As a web-based chatbot, Leif chats with the user, understands their intent, and uses natural language processing to create personalized recommendation and sentiment analysis systems. Leif also connects users to other ex-offenders with similar experiences via a custom online messaging platform.

Leif aims to reduce the recidivism rate by providing useful interview skills, a support network, and access to jobs personalized for the user with a curated company list known to hire ex-offenders.

How we built it

We built Leif with a multitude of technologies, including socket.io, express, firebase, flask, heroku, and dialogflow to connect our chatbot system together- from user input to the intent to a natural language processing backend. We utilized an item to item filtering recommendation system as well as a sentiment analysis system to provide help in the workplace.

Challenges we ran into

We had some problems using Dialogflow with our custom endpoint for our natural language processing backend. There's only one web hook for each Dialogflow app, and we had to send over specified requests to link to our flask API. Additionally, setting up a number of simultaneous chat conversations between users, our chatbot, and each other was quite challenging to coordinate.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We finished a sleek, easy to use, and most importantly functional, app! And we're proud of tackling this unique challenge with an open mind. We're all really passionate about this cause, and hope to break the cycle of the school-to-prison pipeline and lower the recidivism rate.

What we learned

Our current society is not socially inclusive of ex-offenders, and intent fulfillment takes a lot of tweaking. How to use socket.io and create a messaging platform from scratch.

What's next for SI4: Leif

We hope to develop Leif's business plan more to promote the platform in prisons around Rome / the States / the world. We believe that we can scale our website to support numerous active users, and we can truly help connect ex-offenders to life-changing opportunities!

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