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Foundations of Chat Bot Design

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We know about chat bots since 1992 in IRC chats, where they were used to automate activities for a few hundred users at time. Today, through social media and messengers, they can reach about 14% of the world population.
We are still at the early stages, and many product teams working all around the globe are rediscovering independently the same foundations. This talk tries to present a simple high level model for designing chat bots, so we can start having a common language and a common approach to discuss and move the conversation forward.

Talk done at IxDA Meetup London.

Published in: Design
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Foundations of Chat Bot Design

  1. FOUNDATIONS OF CHAT BOT DESIGN Davide ‘Folletto’ Casali
  2. NIGHT.EU Manifesto Ibridi F E L L O W DESIGN DIRECTOR ADVISOR
  3. @Folletto
  4. THE VALLEY PART I
  5. Uncanny Valley Masahiro Mori (1970) The Uncanny Valley AffinityHIGH Creepy when lifelike is close but not attained Toy robot Industrial robot Healthy person Prosthetic hand 0% 100% LOWCREEPY Human Likeness
  6. Uncanny Valley AffinityHIGH Mapped to Dialogue Only 0% 100% Healthy person Command line AI bot Not good enough AI bot Keyword bot LOWCREEPY Human Likeness
  7. Uncanny Valley AffinityHIGHLOW Scoping for the right goal 0% 100% CREEPY Human Likeness CONSUMER R&D
  8. DESIGN PART II
  9. Expectations Expectations Expectations
  10. “ask me anything” The stupidest thing a bot could say. AMA
  11. Sensors Context awareness
  12. Sensors user name user data previous discussions time of day last few user actions originating page
  13. Abilities Actions it can take
  14. Abilities change user data change settings send emails do a user command operate service navigate
  15. Command Line Fallacy “The user knows what to type” ?
  16. Dialog Understanding and replying
  17. Dialog understand language show variation answer properly ask questions short term memory aware of discussion
  18. Shallow mode Deep mode
  19. Shallow mode {Direct questions Various topics Unrelated
  20. Deep mode}Ask question Follow up Troubleshooting
  21. Sensors Abilities Dialog
  22. SEMANTIC CONES PART III
  23. Discussion Flow Fallacy “Design the flow”
  24. Expert Topic Expert Topic Expert Topic Expert Topic Semantic Cones
  25. Semantic Cones WIDE Try to accept the wider possible input “How do I know the user is in this cone?” DEEP Keep context until the goal is reached “How do I get the user to their goal?”
  26. how do I return a parcel? Packages have different prices depending on location. What’s your postcode? not now, do you support normal mail? Packages have different prices depending on location. What’s your postcode? arggghh Packages have different prices
  27. START How to open the conversation. SWITCH How to change a topic.
  28. Semantic Cones Expert Topic Wayfinding Expert Topic Expert Topic Expert Topic
  29. Expert Topic Wayfinding Expert Topic Expert Topic Expert Topic AbilitiesSensors
  30. Be always aware of the technical layer.
  31. “ ” Bruno Munari To complicate is easy, to simplify is hard. To complicate, just add, everyone is able to complicate. Few are able to simplify.
  32. Thanks. @Folletto INTENSEMINIMALISM.COM Thanks to Carly Stambaugh for the technical review.

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