Concepting and Creating a Chatbot

fall 2018 (11)
Students will develop a concept and create a chatbot (automated, interactive persona) using a bot-building website.


This project asks students to develop a concept for a chatbot (an automated, interactive persona) and create the bot using a free bot-building website. 

Prior to "bot" becoming synonymous with misinformation and malicious intent around political elections, digital media services were preparing to launch bots as major features. 2016 was predicted to be the "Year of the Bot" as Facebook and other services planned to roll out a bot platform for 3rd parties to create interactive accounts. Bots are now found on social media, websites, productivity platforms, and in other digital channels, though these bots vary in functionality and usefulness. 

For this project, students will be creating a chatbot based on concepts they develop through the course readings and their own exploration of bots on Twitter. This fits in with a unit on automation on the internet and allows students to both learn about this area of online communication and creatively participate.

There are a number of steps to set up a chatbot using a bot-building website (such as SnatchBot). Documentation and tutorials are generally available, but the instructor should complete this project on his or her own prior to offering this assignment, and the instructor should be willing to help students with the set-up if necessary. The learning curve is high mostly as the several layers of creative and design thinking go into the functionality of a chatbot, and students need to learn the interface of the bot-building tool.

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CMM115 Social Media: Theory and Practice, Fall 2018

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