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The Best Books You Need to Read to Understand Chat Bot Ecosystem

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(Part II)

As bots have begun to replace apps and websites, demand for bots is increasing by the day. These collection of books help you to understand a chatbot.

1. Chatbots: An Introduction And Easy Guide To Making Your Own

Oisin Muldowney

We are on a cusp of a chatbot revolution that will be extremely important to human culture. Chatbots are already everywhere. As some of the chapters in this book detail, they are present in e-commerce, banking, health care, education and libraries.

This book consists of two sections. First of all, a run through the history of chatbots, some thoughts about the future, and an examination of how chatbots are changing cultural activity in all sorts of spheres. This section addresses Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence.

Part 2 is all about building your own chatbot, which is easy to do and no longer requires any coding skills. There are several platforms that allow you to intuitively create chatbots for free. This book uses to explain how you can build a basic bot, then make it more sophisticated, incorporating features such as the ability to process payments and broadcast messages to Facebook Messenger lists.

2. Chatbots for eCommerce: Learn how to build a virtual shopping assistant

Amit Kothari (Author), Rania Zyane (Author), Joshua Hoover (Author)

If you are a developer interested in learning how to build your own conversational bot from scratch, this book is for you. Upon completion of this book you will be able to build a text-based Facebook Messenger bot and a voice-based custom skill for Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service.

In the first chapter, you learn about the conversational interface, its history, and why it’s gaining in popularity again. In the next few chapters you will build a virtual shopping assistant bot using the Facebook Messenger Platform. You’ll start with the basics and then work your way up to build a truly conversational bot that users can interact with using natural language. In the final chapter you go step-by-step, building a custom skill for the Alexa Voice Service.

3. Zero to Bot: Create a simple curator chatbot using API.AI — A Guide for Non-Programmers

Interested to see what a finished chatbot could look like? Click here to see some examples > (just copy and paste into your browser)

Suppose you have a WordPress website which already has a regular audience. People who are familiar with your work would like to know if you wrote about some topic “X”. Would you like to guide them towards your best content on that topic?

Today they simply use the search box on your website. However, default WordPress search has a few limitations.

1. It depends on the user typing the exact keyword to trigger a match — slight variations of the keyword will not even work.

2. Unless you make the effort to install a plugin, the default search results in WordPress are sorted simply by date — which means the top results may not be the best ones.

3. For any user question, you the content creator are the best judge of what is your most relevant/useful content, and your default search results are not helping your users get the best material.

By creating a chat bot which can curate the best articles on your website and display them for spoken English-like queries, you get some control over how your audience experiences your best work.


The API.AI service for creating the chat bot is completely free.


This is a very short book which will take you less than an hour to read and you should have a working bot inside your website within a couple of hours.

Interested? Get the book and build your bot!

4. An Introduction to the Microsoft Bot Framework: Create Facebook and Skype Chatbots using Microsoft Visual Studio and C#

Michael Washington (Author)

This book covers the Microsoft Bot Framework Preview Edition

The Microsoft Bot Framework allows you to easily create bots. This book covers using Visual Studio 2015 to create Chatbots using the Microsoft Bot Framework.

The purpose of this book is to demonstrate, provide examples of, and to explain important concepts of the technology. You can create bots that interact with your users naturally wherever they are, including Facebook, text, Skype, Office 365 email, and other popular services.

Chapter 1: Understanding the Microsoft Bot Framework
Chapter 2: Create a Hello World! Bot
Chapter 3: Using FormFlow
Chapter 4: Using Dialogs
Chapter 5: Using Images, Cards, Carousels, and Buttons
Chapter 6: Implementing A SQL Server Database With Your Bot
Chapter 7: Implementing Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS)
Chapter 8: Calling The Microsoft Bot Framework Using The Direct Line API
Chapter 9: Using Application Insights To Monitor Your Bot
Chapter 10: Creating a Skype Bot
Chapter 11: Creating A Facebook Messenger Bot

5. A Corpus Based Approach to Generalising a Chatbot System: Applying Simple Natural Language Processing Techniques to Build Knowledge Base of ALICE Chatbot System

By Bayan Abu Shawar (Author)

Chatbot tools are computer programs which interact with users using natural languages. This thesis shows that chatbot technology could be used in many different ways in addition to being a tool for having fun. A chatbot could be used as a tool to learn or to study a new language; a tool to access an information system, a tool to visualise the contents of a corpus; and a tool to give answers to questions in a specific domain. Instead of being restricted to a specific domain or written language, a chatbot could be trained with any text in any language. Some of the differences between real human conversations and human-chatbot dialogues are presented. A Java program has been developed to read a text from a machine readable text (corpus) and convert it to ALICE chatbot format language (AIML). The program was built to be general, the generality in this respect implies, no restrictions on specific language, domain, or structure. Different languages were tested: English, Arabic, Afrikaans, French, and Spanish. At the same time different corpora structure were used: dialogue, monologue, and structured text.

6. Streamlining Information Services Using Chatbots

Michele L. McNeal (Author), David Newyear (Author)

The most common questions coming to your library by IM or Chat, such as inquiries about location, hours, policies, or patron access to specific material, can all be answered by a chatbot, saving valuable staff time. A chatbot effectively creates a natural language processing interface to your catalog and databases, providing answers to library users by structuring language to a database’s requirements. David Newyear developed the award-winning Emma the Catbot and, with co-author Michele McNeal, implemented it at the Mentor Public Library. He has since transformed it into an open source virtual agent for libraries, infoTabby. This issue of Library Technology Reports presents dozens of code examples in AIML, an easy-to-learn markup language for anyone familiar with XML or HTML, enabling you to start simple, with a virtual agent that can answer FAQs and build toward a natural conversation. This report offers guidance on such topics as

  • Creating a simple working chatbot with a small number of AIML tags
  • Sample coding for answering the basic library-hours questions
  • How to use Javascript to pass a query to a third-party database, such as Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Free and premium services from Pandorabot to experiment with or implement a free virtual assistant for Android
  • Implementation ideas, from text-only catalog enhancement to kiosks

7. Building Voice-Enabled Apps with Alexa

Kory Becker (Author)

This book demonstrates the core concepts behind conversational UI and building voice-enabled apps with the Alexa framework (the examples in this book are easy to understand, but having some experience with Node.js and web development is helpful). The book focuses on a general understanding of why voice-enabled apps are important, along with easy-to-understand examples for building your first apps for the Amazon Echo. By the end of the book you will understand the importance of conversational UI, how to build and test your first Alexa app for the Echo, and how to publish your software to the Alexa app store for the world to see.

8. Artificial Intelligence: Understanding A.I. and the Implications of Machine Learning

Smart Reads (Author)

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates, have proclaimed Artificial Intelligence as a possible threat in the future unless humans learn to use it wisely. Could this be true? Is it possible for us to create artificial intelligence programming that we’ll soon have thinking and feeling AI? Is it even possible for us to have a human-looking AI run for president in the future? All of these questions and thoughts are addressed in Artificial Intelligence: Understanding A.I. and the Implications of Machine Learning. It’s a book designed to give you a concise overview about the beginnings of intelligent machines, our current modern approach and its impact on future technology and human existence.

9. How To Program — Amazon Echo: Design, Development and Testing Alexa Skills

Jo Jaquinta (Author), Stacy Colella (Author)

Creating a compelling Alexa skill has many unique challenges not seen in other software development. This book goes beyond the documentation in the Alexa Skills Kit and covers the special considerations an audio interface presents for design, development and testing.

Use Bot Stash to find more tools and resources related to chat bots. For more articles on Bot development follow Bot Tutorials

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