Kids in Technology; How to Build Chatbots

When: October 17th & 18th

3pm - 7pm

Where: Київ, вул. Пирогова 9, факультет інформатики, аудиторія 229


  1. Hands-on AI workshop with IBM Watson Assistant
  2. All students who pass needed mark grade will get official IBM Cognitive Class certificate
  3. All students will get $1200 bonus to be used towards IBM Cloud service

1. Create an account on IBM Cloud. (You will receive a detailed step-by-step guide to your email in a few days before the event)
2. Take a laptop with you

Welcome to the hands-on labs for Watson Assistant Chatbot Workshop.

When taking an in-person workshop or an online course, it's easy to watch the presenter introduce new concepts, nod along, and feel like you learned a lot. This approach will certainly introduce you to some new knowledge, but it can also lull you into a false sense of security in your newly acquired abilities.

What happens next, typically, is that you'll have a terrible realization a couple of days later when you actually try to create something with your new knowledge.

You'll quickly find out that you got the gist of it, but don't quite remember the details well enough to make it work.

Even if you are a genius, you'll struggle if you haven't practiced. Imagine trying to learn how to play the piano by watching weeks' worth of online lessons but never touching any keys. Your theoretical knowledge may increase, but not your practical, musical abilities.

After all, if this weren't the case, the majority of Rugby sports fans would have pro league level skills in the field.

The truth is, we learn by doing. When we practice, make mistakes, correct them, and keep practicing, our theoretical knowledge becomes something magical.

It becomes a skill impressed in our muscle memory and brain. So I structured my workshop to be ruthlessly practical with lots of time dedicated to practicing and experimenting through hands-on labs.

By the end of this workshop, you'll be able to claim that you developed and deployed a chatbot. And you can always reference these labs, long after the workshop is over.

Looking forward to seeing you succeed.

Register here:


Lab 1: Let's get started

Welcome to your first hands-on lab. I'm sure you're eager to get started. Before we can begin to actually build chatbots, however, we'll need to take care of a couple of prerequisites for this workshop.

What you will accomplish In this lab:

  1. Register an account with IBM Cloud;
  2. Create an instance of Watson Assistant;
  3. Enroll in a Chatbot Course online to obtain a certificate and badge, as well as other benefits.

There are a few reasons for enrolling:

Being enrolled in the course will enable you to take the quizzes and final exam. A passing grade will entitle you to a badge backed by IBM, to attest to your ability to create chatbots.

This badge, digitally issued by Acclaim, can then be shared on your LinkedIn profile, other social media sites (a little bragging won't hurt anyone), on your CV/résumé, etc.

  1. Upon passing the exam, you'll also receive a digital certificate of accomplishment from Cognitive Class, which you could print if you wish.
  2. You'll be given a special coupon code that allows you to receive US$200 a month worth of Cloud services for six months (a total value of US$1,200). This can be applied to use many IBM Cloud services, including Watson Assistant.
  3. You'll receive a free WordPress testing site that we'll need for the deployment of your chatbot later in the workshop.
  4. Once you're registered with Cognitive Class, you can take many other courses on Data Science, AI, Containers, Blockchain, and more if you're interested. All for free and at your own pace.
  5. Take your first graded quiz.

Lab 2: Working with Intents

Great job on completing the first lab. We're now ready to tackle the first and most important component of a chatbot, Intents.

What you will accomplish in this lab:

  1. Create a skill for your chatbot;
  2. Create, modify, and delete intents;
  3. Add intents from the Content Catalog;
  4. Test intents in the Try it out panel.
  5. Import and export intents via CSV files;

Lab 3: Working with Entities

Watson leverages intents we define to let us know what the user query is about. What does the user want? In the previous lab, we created a few chitchat intents, as well as #hours_infoand #location_info.

If the user greets us, thanks us, wants to leave the conversation, ask us about hours of operation, or location information, we'll know which intent they had.

The next step is to gather specific bits of information given in the question, if any are provided. For that, we'll need entities.

What you will accomplish In this lab:

  1. Create, modify, and delete entities;
  2. Test entities in the Try it out panel;
  3. Try out system entities;
  4. Import and export entities via CSV files;
  5. Learn about synonyms and patterns.

Lab 4: Defining the Dialog

With intents and entities under our belts, we can finally look at the third component: the dialog.

In fact, at this point, our chatbot can understand some intents and detect a few specific pieces of information thanks to entities. What we are missing is using this information to formulate appropriate responses to the user. Will do so in this lab to create a simple, but useful chatbot.

What you will accomplish In this lab:

  1. Create a useful chatbot that leverages the intents and entities we created so far;
  2. Understand how the Dialog flow and responses work;
  3. Understand children nodes;
  4. Test our chatbot in the Try it out panel;
  5. Take your second and third graded quizzes.

Lab 5: Deployment to WordPress

The small chatbot we built so far works well enough from the Try it out panel. That's great and all, but our customers won't have access to it unless we deploy it somewhere. Let's see how to accomplish that.

What you will accomplish In this lab:

  1. Create an Assistant and link it to your skill;
  2. Obtain a WordPress site for testing purposes;
  3. Deploy our chatbot to your WordPress site;
  4. Learn about the various features offered by the Watson Assistant WordPress plugin.

Lab 6-7: Let's improve it

By now you know the essentials of chatbot building. There are however some more advanced concepts that will enable you to create better and smarter chatbots.

I could list them all here at once, but I think it makes more sense to organically introduce them in this lab as their need arises in the process of improving our chatbot.

Keep in mind that some of these concepts are tougher to get, particularly if you have no prior programming experience. So don't be discouraged if you don't fully get everything right away.

You can try things, test to see if they work, and if they don't, try something else. That's why the Try it out panel is so useful. It allows you to build chatbots one feature at the time.

Stick with it, and if you practice, you'll quickly become familiar with the advanced concepts.

What you will accomplish In this lab:

  1. Learn about several features of Watson Assistant;
  2. Improve the chatbot we've built so far;
  3. Complete the quizzes and exam for the online course.

Register here: