Demo

Check out tabot (our GPT-3 powered Discord bot) in action: https://www.loom.com/share/19e87ced178c430388797cc2ca7e3ccd https://www.loom.com/share/0e54f971db2842ef81474f3eb2f9ca19

Inspiration

Most of us have first-hand experience on the affects of remote university. Lack of motivation, confusing lectures and unresponsive profs/TAs made school quite challenging. We decided to tackle this problem head-on by giving students a tool to assist them while studying. Although nothing compares to in-person discussions, we decided to make a product within the constraints of remote learning -- this is why we felt that a Discord bot would be perfect. Check out what it does below!

What it does

Tabot acts as a "TA-as-a-Service". What this means is that it is able to assist students in various ways and act as a "TA" of sorts. For example, if a student is confused by the latest lecture slides that the professor posted, they can react to the message on Discord and immediately receive a private message that summarizes and simplifies the entire lecture! Or it can generate entire essay outlines based on a prompt. These are just a few of the many powerful things tabot is capable of -- all with an assist from GPT-3.

How we built it

We used the GPT-3 API and the Python discord client. We deployed this for testing locally. We also had a React frontend and a Firebase backend that enabled Professors to manage and create an entire Discord server, but due to time constraints, this was not fully completed. In the future, we plan on allowing tabot to generate a channel for every lecture and post summaries and quizzes.

Challenges we ran into

It was challenging tuning the model's hyper-parameters to optimize for the particular outcome (for example, summarizing vs answering factual questions). Additionally, it was also difficult to design the bot's commands and workflows in an intuitive way for the user. Finally, we had trouble configuring Firebase to upload a professor's lecture files.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud of the fact that it's fully functional. Even the more complex workflows that involve responding to emoji reactions, parsing PDFs, and messaging privately are all functional and rigorously tested.

What we learned

We learned a lot about how to develop and deploy Discord bots. Before this hackathon, neither of us have ever created a Discord bot! It's really cool to see how powerful and flexible the API is.

What's next for tabot

We would like to gather user feedback and continue adding new features. For example, we would like to make the bot generate study notes from lecture videos (not just PDFs).

Note: You can view an additional feature on the second Loom link.

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