On Wednesday 22nd November 2017 I had the pleasure of running the third London Bot Framework meetup at the lovely Just Eat office in central London. The offices have been recently upgraded and the new meetup space has a huge 9 screen display a multiple mic speaker system, including a fantastic CatchBox throwable mic for ensuring everyone hears the audience questions
It has been a year since the previous one (whoops) but it was great to see some familiar faces return in the attendees. I had forgotten how much fun it is to emcee an event like this! Maybe next time I’ll be sure to just emcee and not also commit presenting a session too.
If you want to just cut to the chase, then here’s the video – there are gaps between sessions as we refuel and natter, but skip along a few minutes and we’ll get back to business soon enough.
- Jamie Dalton: 1m40s
- Robin Osborne: 28m50s
- Kristian Brimble & Sam Kavanagh: 1h09m
There were three sessions spanning the evening, covering a varying selection and level of botframework and cognitive services content.
1) Handing off to a human for agents/supervisors with C# and the BotBuilder SDK
The first session started with us all overcoming some technical difficulties – the Just Eat system works great if you’re presenting from the one PC that’s wired up to the AV system, but plugging another laptop is was proving very tricky! We got around it by starting a Google Meet (nee Hangout) on the presentation PC and having Jamie connect as the presenter from his laptop. Phew.
Luckily the pizza arrived perfectly timed to cover this technical blip!
Jamie Dalton – Microsoft UK Technical Evangelist
Jamie works as a technical evangelist in the UK, helping customers and partners develop solutions based on the Microsoft platform. He really is as old as he looks, with over 20 years’ experience as a Microsoft software developer. He is passionate about Application Lifecycle Management, developer tooling, DevOps and creating new experiences using Microsoft technologies in the cloud. He has a degree from the university of life and once read some books!
I had first seen Jamie’s solution via a twitter link of a video where he shows a Skype client and a Slack client both connecting to a Bot Framework chatbot and asking to be transferred to a human, which has a UI for all currently connected chats; this was inspirational to me at the time, as I was working on the Just Eat customer help chatbot which needed to hand over to a human help agent in various scenarios. Could it use this solution?
- The original video
- The github repo for the sample
- The Agent UI repo
- Stalk… uh… follow Jamie on Twitter
- The write-up of the original concept
- A Channel9 video of the concept in action
So so cool.
2) Cognitive Services: The Speaker Recognition API
The filling in this botframework session sandwich was my own session about the fantastic Speaker Recognition API from the Microsoft Cognitive Services.
I talked about some of the incredible offerings from Cognitive Services, then gave a potentially chaotic live demo of the Speaker Verification and Speaker Identification APIs!
- Seeing AI
- Speaker Recognition homepage
- Interactive Speaker Recognition demo
- Free cognitive services learning videos
3) Robots Testing Robots
Kristian Brimble and Sam Kavanagh from the Just Eat Help Chatbot dev team took us through the Just Eat chatbot testing process, referring to the classic test pyramid approach.
- BotSpec articles – a BDD style syntax for testing BotFramework
- A fork of the BotFramework Emulator which allows you to set the port on which it listens, and exposes that in the title bar, meaning you can now orchestrate the bot emulator!
Another fantastic meetup from my perspective; the JustEat meetup space is great, as is their beer and pizza.
The recorded video even has embedded camera footage of the speaker, so you feel like you’re in the room (or at least, on a live video stream!) which I found added a lot to the video.
I’m looking forwards to the next one, hopefully in January.