Alexa Skills and bots have the potential to change the world in the same way email and HTML did. However,
What it does
It's like the Matrix for Alexa skills. Just upload load a document to the shared Alexa brain and it instantly becomes a skill your friends can download to their brains.
How I built it
We used the Slack API for the upload interface, the Facebook API for the security and some messenger tricks, Docubots API for document parsing (Scala), searched the web for some random heart, health, doctor related spreadsheets (to participate in the Novartis hack also) and of course, the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK)
Challenges I ran into
Many of the documents we found on the web (Excel files) had terminology that wasn't user friendly. Not a big deal - no programming required - copy and paste something that was more conversationally friendly, then upload it via our Hack's Slack App (Terabot)
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We've tied together a lot of APIs that rely on a somewhat distributed collection of services and resources. Despite this, the reaction time of the Skills generated on the fly are pretty good. The actual skills themselves are better than what we've seen people charge clients $1,000 to $2,000 for - and ours are free (if the document isn't "complex"). In addition to that, since it's applicable to every industry / domain that uses documents (which means every industry), in theory it can literally save lives, as demonstrated by the sample docs selected.
What I learned
Our project has far greater potential to change people's lives than we realized when we started the hack. It's great motivation to keep working on it.
What's next for Terabot
a) Get to the semifinal b) Move to production servers for mass availability c) Help the world build "one trillion Skills"