Categories
Advocacy CUI

#MSBuild 2021: Teams Table Talk

I saw this tweet 👆🏾 and thought, I should send a topic.

Since I’ve been recently building bots and extensions in Teams I focused my topic on just that – extending Teams. I hadn’t heard about table talks, but Microsoft started making them possible in a few conferences before Build.

My topic was accepted, and along with Erik Kleefeldt, we’ll be hosting a table talk on “Extending the Microsoft Teams Experience”

Erik and I have met a few times and we’re excited to share the experience. Table Talks are meant to be like those hallway conversations you might have on your way to a session about topics you dig. They should be welcoming, open and good-natured, really.

This should be fun!

Extending the Microsoft Teams Experience – May 26, 2021 9:30 AM AST (6:30 AM PT).
“Build the next generation of productivity experiences for hybrid work”
RSVP early to join.

Categories
CUI

The Air IQ Agent

Last year, at the Caribbean Developers virtual gathering, I demonstrated a bot that displays air quality information based on sensors at a few spots in Trinidad & Tobago. My remarks on it can be seen here.

This week, I went ahead and pulled together the work to publish that bot as an Action on Google.

The bot will surface the same information available at the environment management authority has on their site.

I tried to show it to a friend and found it a bit difficult to invoke. You have to say, “OK, Google, Talk to air IQ agent” just so, for it to work, and then, it just says “Hi there! What area are you interested in?”.

If you look at your phone or other assistant screen, it’ll show the options.

But it won’t actually say anything else. You have to just know the area choices. Should I have caught this in testing? Yes, but I may have been working on getting it all to work and less focused on how it actually works.

So, that’ll be fixed. Nevertheless, I’m glad to explore yet another channel for virtual assistants and in cases like this, I feel it’s much easier to talk to your assistant that remember which site should be checked to find out factoids like this.

Categories
CUI

Bots State

Ok, in 2016/2017 these were the bots I made:

Nurse Carter

Hansard Speaks

Time for Water

For some reason, I feel like there were more. Most likely, that’s because of perhaps just iterating on those above. I did make a few PoCs for work, like collaborating on the Teleios Code Jam one with our intern at the time, Joshua.

I also made a few ones we used for demos with clients, those put together things like QuikWorx, our low code solution creator at Teleios with SharePoint and Cortana.

This year, there are a few I’m going to go after in addition to iterating on the ones above. A friend of mine asked me to make a hybrid QnA CUI application. This tweet by Gary Pretty about a new way to sync QnAs might bring that back up.

My next new bot will be one that uses the Consumer Affairs Division data in some way. I hope to finish that over this long weekend in Trinidad.

One of the changes I’ve not been on top of have been to the Microsoft Bot Framework.  They’ve gone to General Availability and bots on the bot framework developer portal need to be moved over to the azure portal by March 31.  I’ll both move and update dependencies with the move to keep current with how to do things on the framework.

So, that’s it. I hope for more collaborations with the updates this year and perhaps more frequent updates.

Categories
CUI

Time For Water: The bot edition.

Back in 2013, I built a small site that took some data that the Water and Sewage Authority released (@wasatnt on Twitter) and remixed it, to make it easier to consume.

Recently, @wasatnt released a document detailing the current distribution schedule in this dry season, 2017.  It’s a PDF doc, listing the data for all regions in Trinidad and Tobago. Hundreds of rows, I discovered.

It seemed  like a good idea to build a simple bot to provide information about service at a particular area. So, I did. Listed below are some  of the steps it took from prepping the data to working prototype.

  • Get the data
  • Clean the data
    • Small PDF gave me an excel workbook with 15 worksheets
    • All the worksheets contained merged cells, so I un-merged them.
    • Delete unnecessary columns
    • Then, I duplicated the row data so that every row could stand on it’s own. That’s important for the look-ups I’ll do later on.
  • Convert the data
  • Finally, I was able to build a bot, Time For Water, that would respond to messages with look-ups of the data in the original schedule.