As a conversational developer I often get the question “Hey, I have smart speaker X, but I don’t use it. What cool things can I do with it?”. This made me wonder, what would be a good example to show the power of conversational applications? I wanted to create something which could be used by anyone. This lead to the idea to take my resume to the next level.
One of the main benefits of voice assistants and chatbots is the fact that they are available 24/7. Thanks to this I no longer have to send me resume out to people and anyone who is interested in what I do can interact with my voice assistant and find out what they want to know about me and lets be honest, its alot of fun to tell people that they can talk to my voice assistant if they want to know more about me instead of a piece of paper.
The main goal that I had in mind for my resume was being able to introduce myself, tell something about what I like to do for work and how people can get in contact with me. These topics seemed as the most useful for my resume since I talk about these things alot when I meet people for the first time and they want to know what I do for work.
After I knew which topics I wanted to add to my assistant, it was time for the look and feel for the assistant. One of the important things in conversational applications is creating a persona for your application. If your users feel they are talking to a real person, it makes the conversation alot better than when it feels like a device answering questions. Because this was going to be the digital version of my resume I wanted it to feel as if you are talking to me. So I made sure to answer all the topics in a way as I would in real life.
To create my resume assistant I used Google’s natural language processing platform named Dialogflow. Dialogflow is a powerful tool for creating chatbots which is easy to get into and helps you get up and running really quickly. It has a chat in which you can test all the things you can create and it can integrate with platforms such as Google Assistant, Facebook Messenger, Slack and much more.
Dialogflow uses a feature called Intents to recognize what the user is saying to my assistant. The only thing I had to do was create intents for each topic that I wanted the assistant to be able to be talk about and add some example sentences that my users could use to ask about a topic. Dialogflow will use these examples and machine learning to accurately guess the topic your users want to talk about.
After I had setup all my intents, the only thing I had to do to finish setting up Dialogflow was adding the content that I wanted to display in my topics. The current version of my assistant only supports Dutch, so I only added Dutch text and images to my responses. In the future I’d like to add an English version, experiment with animations and see if I can record my voice and use those recording to create a real conversation with me.
At this point I had a working Dialogflow model which could answer all sorts of questions about me. The only thing I needed now was to connect this model to Google Assistant. Luckily, Dialogflow has made this super easy, I only needed to enable the integration by flinking a switch in Dialogflow and entering some information… and done!
All there was left to do was putting my assistant up for review to Google. This review took a couple days and after that my assistant was put live.
As you can see, you don’t need much to create your own digital resume or assistant. It doesn’t require any coding, it is completely free and it is fun. In the future we will probably see more voice assistants in our daily lives, so this is a fun way to get to know the technologies and learn how to use it. That is all for today, stay tuned for more of my adventures in conversational!