(the) Hansard Speaks!

We built a bot at Teleios.

Well, we’ve built bots before. In fact, one time, we built this amazing one that was over SMS – part of a game called MeggieWars. It was hilarious and fun. Personally, I’ve been a fan of using messenger platforms to do fancy stuff for a long time. Way back in 2005 my friend, Kevin Weekes and I attempted to use the MSN Messenger api to do automatic translation between IMs using the babelfish web service. We got as far as the semi-finals for the Imagine Cup that year.

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Irwin and Kevin, Imagine Cup Participants, circa 2005.

Anyway, we built a bot in our last Teleios Power Hour episode for 2016 – Hansard Speaks. I had been thinking about doing something like Hansard Speaks for a least a year. It lets you search parliamentary proceedings (thus the name Hansard) via Facebook Messenger, thus the Speaks. Any text you type, it will search and then it gives you either a YouTube link of the moment it was spoken in the parliament or a link to the PDF containing the passage.

Right now, it works with a snapshot of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament data from YouTube and their website.

In terms of the tech we used, we put together Azure Media Services – for the media ingestions – with a Lucene Search in ASP .Net  and did the bot stuff using Microsoft Bot Framework.

As the world goes crazy for bots, I hope to build a few more soon.

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