Janine Gerber
IBM, EdTech Program Manager, Girls Who Code and University Mentor



This guide is designed to help you engage your students/club in learning about artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. It supports the shift towards New Collar skills and opportunities.

The guide helps you to introduce key concepts as they relate to designing and building an empathic chatbot. The outline of the learning activities in the Chatbots for Good hero journey includes:

  • Why starting with user centric design is important and how to apply the basics of IBM Design Thinking to designing (not simply coding) a chatbot.
  • How interacting with a chatbot can help improve or change human feelings and behaviors. Why learning about the three basic components of Watson Conversation: intents, entities, and dialog can help students gain the foundational skills they need to program a chatbot.
  • Why analyzing tone and emotions are important for effective human-computer communications. How using services such as Watson Tone Analyzer can help improve a users experience with a chatbot.
   

All the resources referenced in this guide and in the Chatbots for Good activities your club/students will interact with can be completed by registering for a FREE IBM Cloud account. Our goal is to introduce you and your students/clubs to cognitive services and systems that augment human intelligence.

What Girls Who Code alumni have shared about Watson and the IBM Cloud


Prepare your students or club members to qualify to apply for a Summer 2018 Internship with IBM! More details to come!

  • Why it is important for your students or club members to learn about chatbots and machine learning? By 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent.
  • There’s a lot of fretting in the world about how robots will eventually take away jobs. Facilitate a conversation with your students or club members around these fears and ask, instead, what types of new jobs will be created and how technology might make people’s jobs easier. Here is a great discussion guide: Out-thinking old-school

By understanding and using the basic principles of IBM Design Thinking, your students or club members will be better prepared to explore how they can to turn problems into solutions. It’s a way for them (and you) to learn how to develop an understanding and empathy for users as they interact with a chatbot. Your students will need/use the outputs from this exercise later in the course as they create a chatbot. Inspire them to design, not just build, a chatbot that will motivate and benefit users.

Objective: Introduce the basic principles of design thinking

    1. Creating an empathy map
    2. Mapping out what is likely to be happening when the problem is experienced
    3. Identifying hills and create a “Wow” factor

Estimated time: 60 minutes

Materials: Whiteboard or Large Paper, Whiteboard Marker, Post-It notes, Sharpies

What do you think?: Guide a discussion

  • Now that you know how to approach the design of an experience or solution – how are you going to use this newfound superpower?
  • As you seek to understand problems from both emotional and logical views, what did you learn?
  • How can you help change a stressful experience and what “wows” did you unlock?
   

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Creating a conversational chatbot requires developing the skills to train a machine to understand language meanings. As words can have many different meanings, coding a chatbot to respond appropriately to user interactions can be a complex challenge. In this activity your students or club members will learn about the three main components of conversation: intents (what does the user mean), entities (terms that provide specific information), and a dialog flow to orchestrate the interaction with the user based on intents, entities, and context.

To become more familiar with this technology you might want to also read about How a bot can make teaching easier. Maybe you will end up creating your own bot?

Objective: Understand the three main components of the Watson Conversation service

  • Gain experience interacting with a chatbot
  • Learn about the three basic components of Watson Conversation:
    • intents
    • entities
    • dialog

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Materials: Computer with an internet connection, an IBM account (created in the Chatbots for Good activity)

What do you think?: Guide a discussion

  • Engage students in a conversation around Bots for the greater good: 6 chatbots making the world a better place. These bots help people solve legal issues, get therapy, quit smoking and learn to meditate. What other types of problems can chatbots help make your city a better place to live?
  • Moderate a discussion around how to best anticipate the types of questions users of a chatbot might ask. A great way to do this is to suggest the students protype creating a bot of themselves. Here’s a fun blog post as reference: Create a bot of yourself with Watson
  • Introduce a discussion regarding the combination of language with technology. Language is an important part of our lives. It is a uniquely human characteristic which lets us communicate and differentiates us from animals – and computers. Language is much more than just a means of communication. It is also an inseparable part of our culture.

    Technology has also become an important part of our daily lives. Facilitate a conversation around:

    • 10 uses of technology in our daily life today
    • 10 uses of technology in our daily life 2 years from now (eg: self-driving cars)

    How many of those on the second list will require that a device/robot understand human language? (We bet it will be all 10!)

  • Help your students see how what they have learned about basic sentence structures and grammar is now helping them as they prepare to program Watson how to have a conversation.
  • Time to help your students brush-up on their logic skills – those “if then” conditions are used in many ways, including creating a chatbot.

Additional Resources:


Knowing how to build a chatbot is a hot skill as users demand more functionality and better service around the clock. The main mission of a chatbot is to understand what the user is saying through natural language processing and collect enough information to take action and execute some functionality. In this activity your students or club members will learn how to start a Watson Conversation service and define a workspace by defining two intents and creating a dialog. They will be able to test and play with their first conversation with Watson!

Objective: Create a simple conversation bot with Watson

  • Start a Watson conversation service
  • Create a conversation workspace and create two intents
  • Build a dialog which welcomes your user and creates a dialogue based on your intents
  • Test your intents and dialogue

Estimated time: 45 minutes

Materials: Computer with an internet connection

   

What do you think?: Guide a discussion

  • Engage students in a conversation around Bots for the greater good: 6 chatbots making the world a better place. These bots help people solve legal issues, get therapy, quit smoking and learn to meditate. What other types of problems can chatbots help make your city a better place to live?
  • Moderate a discussion around how to best anticipate the types of questions users of a chatbot might ask. A great way to do this is to suggest the students protype creating a bot of themselves. Here’s a fun blog post as reference: Create a bot of yourself with Watson
  • Introduce a discussion regarding the combination of language with technology. Language is an important part of our lives. It is a uniquely human characteristic which lets us communicate and differentiates us from animals – and computers. Language is much more than just a means of communication. It is also an inseparable part of our culture.

    Technology has also become an important part of our daily lives. Facilitate a conversation around:

    • 10 uses of technology in our daily life today
    • 10 uses of technology in our daily life 2 years from now (eg: self-driving cars)

    How many of those on the second list will require that a device/robot understand human language? (We bet it will be all 10!)

  • Help your students see how what they have learned about basic sentence structures and grammar is now helping them as they prepare to program Watson how to have a conversation.
  • Time to help your students brush-up on their logic skills – those “if then” conditions are used in many ways, including creating a chatbot.

Additional Resources:

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Acts of kindness don’t have to be random! By understanding how to analyze tone and emotions solutions can intentionally be designed to reward behaviors like kindness, empathy, thoroughness, and fairness – making them a force for good. Detecting how someone is feeling fosters deeper digital engagement and increased personalization. The IBM Watson™ Tone Analyzer service uses linguistic analysis to detect emotional, social, and language tones in written text. The service can analyze tone at both the document and sentence levels. The service is commonly used to identify how written communications are perceived and then to improve the tone of communications.
Your students will have fun using the service to learn about the tone of songs, short stories, and more. Be prepared for your students or club members to critique your writing once they learn about this service.

To learn about the field of research Watson Tone Analyzer is based on take a look at The science behind the service.

Objective: Creating a chatbot with a smile

  • Find a sad song and analyze the tone
  • Analyze the tone of a song and understand how to read the tone score

Estimated time: 20 minutes

Materials: Computer with an internet connection

 

What do you think?: Guide a discussion

Additional Resources:

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