Patterns for Building a Chatbot that doesn’t Suck

To believe the hype today, “Chatbots are the new mobile app” (if you don’t have one, you’re probably some sort of throwback to a bygone age). We’ve all been told that the confluence of the explosion of the number of chat messaging platforms, the increasing amount of attention users give to messaging experiences (at the expense of other experiences), huge improvements in NLP (Natural Language Processing), and the increased efficacy of Artificial Intelligence are all combining to make chatbots “the next frontier in user engagement”. And yet, if all that is true, why is Facebook pulling back on its promotion of Facebook Messenger Chatbots as their own data shows up to 70% of current Facebook chatbots are considered a “failure” by Facebook users?

In this talk, we’ll try to separate the hype from reality about the current (and future) state of chatbots. Through this process, we’ll identify a series of important design considerations that can form the foundation of any successful chatbot project and explore the patterns and techniques that can help you develop a truly useful conversational experience for your users. Using node.js, the Microsoft Bot Framework, and Microsoft Cognitive Services as an example platform, we’ll explore a detailed implementation built using all the principles that can help make your chatbot successful.