Bot! zine - Issue #69

It's getting to the point now where there are so many good stories, it's hard to choose which ones ma
Bot! zine - Issue #69
By Bot! zine • Issue #69
It’s getting to the point now where there are so many good stories, it’s hard to choose which ones make it into the newsletter! High-class problems, I suppose.
One big piece of news this last week was the GA launch of Microsoft Teams (read more about it, below). Are you building a bot for Teams? What makes you choose one platform over another? Let me know what you think by dropping me a line (just respond to this email).
Have a great week!

Required Reading
It Begins: Bots Are Learning to Chat in Their Own Language
Born in Ukraine and raised in Toronto, 31-year-old Igor Mordatch is now a visiting researcher at OpenAI, the artificial intelligence lab started by Tesla founder Elon Musk and Y combinator president Sam Altman. There, Mordatch is exploring a new path to machines that can not only converse with humans, but with each other. He’s building virtual worlds where software bots learn to create their own language out of necessity.
Microsoft Teams is now available, here's what its bots can do
The Microsoft Teams app became generally available today for iOS and Android smartphones, as well as for Windows and Mac desktop apps.
Google’s Allo app can reveal to your friends what you’ve searched
The mobile messaging app lets you include Google Assistant in conversations.
Alcohol Brands Turning to Chatbots for Creative Marketing
It seems chatbots are popping up everywhere in the food and beverage industry, and now they’re finding their way to the liquor cabinet.
How bots can help vet the 'wisdom of the crowd' for bias
The classic example of “crowd wisdom” dates back to 1906, when Sir Francis Galton observed a contest in which attendees were asked to guess the weight of an ox at a country fair in England. In what many consider to be the first experiment on crowd wisdom, the average of the 800 guesses was within one pound of being correct.
Kanye West Lyrics Used to Program Rapping A.I. Bot: Listen
A West Virginia teenager has created a rapping A.I. bot that self-generates bars using Kanye West lyrics, Quartz reports. Robbie Barrat, 17, was debating whether artificial intelligence could be taught to perform tasks better than humans in his high school’s programming club. Using open-source code, Barrat programmed the A.I. with 6,000 Kanye lines and finished the project in a week to show his peers at the next club meeting.
Botkit is updated to 0.5.2
Various fixes! New features for Slack, Cisco Spark, and Facebook Messenger!
New Bots, Tools, and Directories:
Hard Drives, Not Telescopes – BLDGBLOG
More or less following on from the previous post, @CrookedCosmos is a Twitter bot programed by Zach Whalen, based on an idea by Adam Ferriss, that digitally manipulates astronomical photography.
AWS Promotional Credits for Alexa
Are you an Alexa skill builder? You may be eligible for AWS promotional credits if you publish at least one skill. Learn more here.
Contact your Senator with a fax-sending bot
The rallying cry to contact your member of Congress is louder than ever these days, but actually reaching them isn’t very easy.
Tiny Dungeon Bot (@TinyDungeons)
I make tiny dungeons meant to look like something out of Nethack - created by @swartzcr - Play my tweets at
Dealing Out Deals (@DealingOutDeals)
We’ll track the price of #Amazon items you want and Tweet you when the price is below your desired price. There’s no limit to how many items can be tracked.
3/21 Introduction to Customising Microsoft Teams with Tabs and Bots - Andrew Coates - Sydney Sharepoint User Group
With Microsoft Teams becoming Generally Available last week, it’s time to get extending. Join Microsoft Technical Evangelist Andrew Coates as he introduces the extensibility points in Teams – Bots Connectors and Tabs. Tailor your Team space with a simple set of APIs to really take advantage of this new collaboration platform.
AI & Chatbots are going main stream and are getting more and more attention of VC, Startups, Enterprises, and Consumers. Startup Toronto is bringing together industry experts from Microsoft,, and TribalScale for this amazing evening of learning.
When creating software conversational experiences, one of the most important components of the product involves NLU (natural language understanding). A great NLU component can mark a difference in the overall conversation flow between bots and users.
The BOT Challenge will be a step by step script-able interface which will require fast automation to complete. The challenge will be browser based but you can use JavaScript in many different forms such Node.JS, browser extensions, injected scripts or any other method that you choose.
All bot enthusiasts! We’re inviting you to our “Bot Spotlight” Demo Day event in San Francisco. Pitch with your demo to 500 Startups partner Tristan Pollock and get feedback for your growth.
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