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​​Beyond the basics of chatbots: how to make them useful, how to make them delightful and how to make them truly intelligent

Benjamin Paul

Ben is a senior engineer working within the research and development team at Just Eat, responsible for designing, prototyping and developing new products, technologies and platforms as well as working with our closest technology partners to create new opportunities and experiences to help us build the world’s greatest food community.

Ben is a keen public speaker as well as a regular guest lecturer for a number of universities talking on a range of subjects from machine learning, AI, software development and lean methodologies.


There have been many talks around the basics of chatbots, including some of my own, they are all well and good but they all skip over many of the fundamental considerations that should be taken when preparing your bot for the real world. Logging, telemetry, alerting, cloud service configuration, deployment, testing and user experience. At Just Eat we have been deploying chatbots to live environments for almost a year now, I aim to share some of our findings with you so that you can avoid some of our early mistakes.

LUIS is a powerful tool, powered by the apparent magic of supervised machine learning to allow us to detect intent from natural language, this talk will highlight some more advanced techniques that can be employed to improve the accuracy and power of LUIS, adding true intelligence to your bots and delighting your users by accurately detecting their intent, picking out key sections of their messages that can serve as context for the active dialog and throwing in some simple yet powerful tricks and techniques to get the most from the service.

Finally, I will demonstrate how you can get the most out of each of the bot channels by customising the bot experience for popular channels like Facebook Messenger and adding support for platform specific features like Facebook Quick Replies and Location widgets.

Throughout the talk I will also highlight my tips for building stable UX experiences for chatbots - We learnt the hard way… with thousands of users, thousands of conversations, months of user testing and a year of dedicated research with JustEat and Microsoft.