Chatbots, the new User Interface
Chatbots are conversational agents, that is computer programs designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with one or more human users via auditory or textual methods. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says, 'Human language is the new user interface.' The types of chatbot uses are varied, they can accumulate Information (contact data, news, weather reports, ...) engage visitors, answer to queries, help to upsell products and services and control payment and delivery.
The challenges are multiple, there are new API's to build, and user experiences and user interfaces to create, and bot personalities to design, in various platforms and environments.
The competition united budding developers, UX / copywriters and conceptors to create chatbot applications, using their experience in .Net, NodeJS, language skills to change their 'killer idea' into a real and working prototypes, using open API.
Five excellent teams
Using Python for the backend development and Luis for language recognition, the Enigmoo team won gold. Their tool helps you to create your own quest game or quizz, using only Facebook Messenger.
Silver went to the ‘Watch your eating’ Skype-based chatbot, tracking what you eat and offering healthy diet recommendations. Also food related was bronze winner ‘Linguini Assistant Cook’, who suggest illustrated recipes based on the ingredients you have in your fridge.
The two other chatbot projects also were interesting… a personal stylist suggesting clothes to match your look, and a virtual personal trainer giving you tips and exercises, based on your Body Mass Index!
The jury, lead by Emakina Group CEO Brice Le Blévennec, united the top expertise of Stefan Langerman, Research Director of the F.R.S.-FNRS at the ULB Université Libre de Bruxelles - Algorithms Research Group, Gianluca Bontempi, Head of Machine Learning Group of ULB and Erik Kerkhofs, Director DX at Microsoft.