Atchai blog

How to run a successful chatbot development project

Posted 2 Sep 2016 (6 minute read)

In this article we’ll share a few things we’ve learned from building chatbots and conversational UI products. We’ll cover how to select the right messaging platforms, the importance of conversation design and why we’ve built our own platform for the rapid development of chatbot products. What does success look like? Before starting any project, it’s important to define goals and how you’re going to measure success. One of the unique things about chatbot products is that you can sometimes fake it til you make it.

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Paging Doctor Bot

Posted 18 Aug 2016 (8 minute read)

The rise of the bots — they’re everywhere! In this article we examine the benefits of using chatbots in healthcare. Healthcare is a controversial topic. Rising costs, often attributed to factors such as increased life-expectancy and regulation, as well as a booming population add continuous pressure to reform and innovate in this space. What’s more, the quality of healthcare delivered is often questioned when compared to these rising costs. There is a rich history of medical expert systems developed to reduce the increasing healthcare costs, meet new regulatory requirements, and satisfy wider requirements to improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare while maintaining the operational efficiency of healthcare organisations.

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Who’s winning the messenger app wars?

Posted 11 Aug 2016 (11 minute read)

A Review and Comparison of the Most Popular Chatbot Platforms We now spend more time in messenger apps than we do on social media. It’s reported that over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed. By 2018, Activate Forecasts that number to grow to 3.6 billion people. In this article, we examine the most popular messaging apps, providing the latest data on usage and demographics. We also give an overview of the app’s features and it’s suitability as a platform upon which to develop chatbots.

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Multi-Team Slack Bots Hosted with BeepBoop

Posted 1 Jul 2016 (3 minute read)

How To Deploy Your Bot As a Slack App UPDATE: The BeepBoop service referred to in this article is now defunct If you want your bot to be used by multiple teams, handle slash commands, or to be submitted to the Slack app store then it’ll need to do the oAuth dance and manage a separate webhook for each team. Fortunately, BeepBoop makes all of this really simple for us. The documentation is a bit sparse so I’ve tried to record every step I took to get it working here.

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In Search of the Perfect Music Dataset

Posted 3 May 2016 (6 minute read)

In this article I review and compare the best freely available music datasets and APIs. How did I get into this? Recently I set out on a side project to find all the records that my favourite musicians had played on. It’s common for musicians to play on a record and not get artist credit. Often the only way to know who played on a record is to look at the cover or liner notes of the album.

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The Beauty of Quality Data

Posted 18 Apr 2016 (9 minute read)

This is a write-up of a talk I originally gave at the Open Data Institute in London on 22nd March 2016 on how we can improve open data quality, and why we must. We have more open data than ever before, and most of it is really useful. A lot of it quite hard to use, and some of it is completely useless. Government policy in the UK has been fantastically successful in opening up datasets that were previously inaccessible to the public.

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The Best Web-based Data Visualisation Tools

Posted 29 Mar 2016 (5 minute read)

Firstly a disclaimer: I am the founder of Dataseed — an interactive data visualisation platform. I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing the various data visualisation tools on the market and so these are really my personal favourites. I first put together this list as part of a talk I gave at the University of Westminster in 2016 and I’ll aim to keep it up to date. There is a focus on the more affordable, cloud-based and open products, avoiding the BI monoliths and the niche industry-specific tools.

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John Coltrane, Nicolas Slonimsky and The Arduino — Part 2

Posted 8 Feb 2016 (6 minute read)

Part 2 of 2: The Tech In case you haven’t already, you might want to read the first part which focuses on the musical background and inspiration for this project. The video above shows a nifty little device that I built called the Slonimskiator. At it’s heart is an Arduino that’s been programmed to generate melodic patterns based on the concepts in Slonimsky’s Thesaurus of Melodic Scales and Patterns. It spits out notes using MIDI so that they can be understood by pretty much any synth or electronic instrument.

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John Coltrane, Nicolas Slonimsky and The Arduino — Part 1

Posted 21 Jan 2016 (5 minute read)

Part 1 of 2: The Music The video above shows a nifty little device that I built called the Slonimskiator. At it’s heart is an Arduino that’s been programmed to generate melodic patterns based on the concepts in Slonimsky’s Thesaurus of Melodic Scales and Patterns. It spits out notes using MIDI so that they can be understood by pretty much any synth or electronic instrument. In the video I’ve got it plugged into a Dave Smith Prophet 08 analog synth.

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Faster CI - how we reduced our build time by 25%

Posted 15 Jan 2016 (5 minute read)

We’ve been using Travis CI to run tests and automate deployments on our projects for the last few years and have been very happy with the service they provide. Our data visualisation tool, Dataseed, has used Travis from the start and over the years we’ve built up a large amount of tests for the font-end and back-end code. Having a comprehensive test suite is great for catching regressions and doing refactors but the length of time the build and tests were taking had become a real pain point.

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