Think you can do better than Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri? Want to build your own intelligent Facebook Messenger bot? Dipping your toe into the water is easier than you think, thanks to tools like and Google's Cloud Speech API. We'll start by building a chat bot that can keep track of context from message to message. Then we'll mix in speech input and output to get something a little closer to your favorite assistant app.


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Daevid Vincent at 15:28 on 8 Sep 2017

This so far was the one workshop I really thought was super interesting with tangible / useful results at the end. However there was a lot to prepare for (unexpectedly and at the last minute!) and compounded by the fact the instructor went quite quickly. If you look at your notebook and away from the slides, you could quickly become lost. Sadly, I had to concede defeat about 1/2 way through. I hope to attempt to get a working solution on my own, but I hope that the instructor posts a fully working version/branch or Docker of the code and JSON import (I know he's updated that part a couple times now).

Maybe it would be better to provide the class with the working examples (or a fully working Docker where we just plug in our own API keys). And then the instructor could point out the interesting/important parts rather than everyone scrambling to try and type/code/follow/read/test/etc..

And also, any preparation needed should have been sent out in an email or slack channel before hand; so maybe do that earlier in the day and have this class later in the day so folks can prep during breaks.

I also wonder if the class could be adjusted to use Amazon AWS as I believe Alexa/Dot are more prevalent than Google Home is.

Ian Littman (Speaker) at 15:53 on 8 Sep 2017

FYI, code for the completed workshop is/has been live at (look at the master branch + readme). The requirement notes ( includes, among other things, a link to a cookbook for playing with the Alexa Skills Kit, which is quite the different beast.