Inaugural LDNBotFramework Meetup Retrospective

We recently wrapped up the first #LDNBotFramework meetup! There were a lot of lessons learned for me, as a first time meetup organiser, and overall I think it was a success.

The venue was great; the big video wall in JustEat’s Fleet Place House office combined with a mic and speaker system that “just works”, a stocked beer fridge and far too much pizza, all made for a perfect tech meetup setup.

LDNBotFramework Team #1!

Erdeniz Hassan, Simon Michael, Robin Osborne, and David Low

Thanks to @beanbaglabs for this group pic!


We were very lucky to have representation from Microsoft to kick things off, then some great insights from SkyScanner’s case study, finishing off with a lightning talk on user expectations from JustEat.

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Implementing LUIS Routing within BotFramework

In the previous LUIS article, I introduced how to set up and train (and publish) a LUIS language interpreting web service, getting an “intent” and extracting “entities” from a given “utterance”

In this article I’ll use LUIS to enhance your botframework chatbot

If you haven’t done so already, create your bot using botframework, and set up a LUIS application.

Now that we’ve laid the foundations, let’s build a house. A chatbot house.. yeah.

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The Chatbot Revolution and The London BotFramework Meetup Group

If you’re one of the few people who have managed to avoid the onslaught of Chat Bot related articles over the past year, then let me start by way of an introduction; a chatbot is, in it’s most basic form, a computer program that can mimic basic human conversations.

This isn’t particularly new or exciting; this sort of chat bot has been around since the 70s. What is new and exciting is the recent development in systems and frameworks which make creating your own chat bot easy enough that you can focus on the quality of the interaction with the end user instead of wallowing in the technical considerations.

There is a website with a form to fill in that will give you a chat bot at the end of it, all the way through to an enterprise company’s framework for building your bespoke conversational interface from scratch.

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LUIS Natural Language Service for BotFramework

Creating a hosted bot using Microsoft’s botframework couldn’t be easier; hopefully you’ve had a chance to create one already, and if not there’s a great introduction to creating your first bot right here.

In the previous article we saw how to create a QnA (aka FAQ/Knowledge Base) service using a little known QnA Maker service of the botframework.

In this post we’ll start to create a more intelligent bot; one which can appear to understand the intent of the incoming message and extract specific key variables from it.

Understanding the intent of a piece of text is a really tricky problem to solve; totally out of scope for this article, and for most bot projects! Luckily, the botframework has a friend called LUIS – the Language Understanding Intelligence Service.

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Botframework Data URI images

A quick botframework tip – you can include images in your message attachments by Data URI, not just by URL!

For example, constructing a message like this:

var reply = message.CreateReply("Here's a **datauri image attachment**");
reply.Attachments = new List<Attachment> {
    new Attachment()
        ContentType = "image/jpg",
        Name = "datauri"

Gives a response that looks like this:

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