FLOSS FAQ Chatbot Project Reuse – How to Allow Nonexperts to Develop a Chatbot

Title: FLOSS FAQ Chatbot Project Reuse – How to Allow Nonexperts to Develop a Chatbot

Authors: Arthur R. T. de Lacerda (University of Brasilia), Carla Silva Rocha Aguiar (University of Brasilia)

Abstract: FAQ chatbots possess the capability to provide answers to frequently asked questions of a particular service, platform, or system. Currently, FAQ chatbot is the most popular domain of use of dialog assistants. However, developing a chatbot project requires a full-stack team formed by numerous specialists, such as dialog designer, data scientist, software engineer, DevOps, business strategist and experts from the domain, which can be both time and resources consuming. Language processing can be particularly challenging in languages other than English due to the scarcity of training datasets.

Most of the requirements of FAQ chatbots are similar, domain-specific, and projects could profit from Open Source Software (OSS) reuse. In this paper, we examine how OSS FAQ chatbot projects can benefit from reuse at the project level (black-box reuse). We present an experience report of a FLOSS FAQ chatbot project developed in Portuguese to an e-government service in Brazil. It comprises of the chatbot distribution service, as well as for analytics tool integrated and deployed on-premises. We identified assets that could be reused as a black-box and the assets that should be customized for a particular application. We categorized these assets in architecture, corpus, dialog flows, machine learning models, and documentation. This paper discusses how automation, pre-configuration, and templates can aid newcomers to develop chatbots in Portuguese without the need for specialized skills required from tools in chatbot architecture. Our main contribution is to highlight the issues non-English FAQ chatbots projects will likely face and the assets that can be reused. It allows non-chatbot experts to develop a quality-assured OSS FAQ chatbot in a shorter project cycle.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2019 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

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