Chatbots - Earvin Kayonga’s Tech Blog

Earvin Kayonga Rwogera EarvinKayonga, a Software Engineering Student

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July 24, 2016    Hackathon ChatBots Humanoid FrAndroid

I attended, this week end (23-24 July), Humanoid’s Hackathon, with this Edition focusing on ChatBots & the Medias. Well, I had no expectation because I had no experience with ChatBots.

Humanoid is the company co founded by Ulrich Rozier and Baptiste Michaud and is behind FrAndroid (famous online website about smartphones) and Numerama (digital in general).

The Hackathon

Some pictures:


Demo of our chatbot:

Our JonBot (Who know nothing) is a chatbot which was designed for spec comparaisons between devices and has a quizz around smartphones.

Because on the lack of time, we started implementing the quizz. The chatbot runs on Facebook Messenger but is hosted on Heroku, communicates with Facebook via Facebook Send Api (Node.js).

Demo of our ChatBot JonBot from Earvin Kayonga on Vimeo.



We wanted to implement a conversationnal ChatBot but we need a Natural Language Processing (NLP) component for our app. I found, ABot,, chatfuel. We chose Wit because it was backed by Facebook and therefore maybe had easy ways for our app to communicate with Facebook Messenger. Lot of tutorials, documentation were available on Youtube and stuff I knew since a long time. That goes back to the period when I used Parse to store data for my Ionic App. I, back then only saw wit as an entity bought by Facebook (like Parse). Wit offers tools to implement Natural Language Processing. Its Hello World is a simple, well designed What's the weather in any City App.


after some hours, I noticed that the paradigm for NLP was quite complicated. Furthermore, Wit recently changed its API and documentation. The open source packages we were using, were therefore obsolete. SAD !!! So we just focused on the quiz

Future of Chatbots

Today, Chatbots are already offering new ways to consume APIs. Instead of going through web App, you could just ask a question (via text or speech) to get u want. I really don’t think ChatBots will replace Apps, they will be a addition to what we already have: but instead of going on the NET, u would just have a sms conversation to order a pizza

AND in our scary overconnected society’s Future, speech convos with bots will get things done replacing today’s keyboard/mouse struggles in common usage (from Ulrich Rozier)

By Earvin Kayonga
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