Book Image

Hands-On Chatbot Development with Alexa Skills and Amazon Lex

By : Sam Williams
Book Image

Hands-On Chatbot Development with Alexa Skills and Amazon Lex

By: Sam Williams

Overview of this book

Have you ever wondered how Alexa apps are made, how voice-enabled technologies work, or how chatbots function? And why tech giants such as Amazon and Google are investing in voice technologies? A better question is: why should I start developing on these platforms? Hands-On Chatbot Development with Alexa Skills and Amazon Lex covers all features of the Alexa Skills kit with real-world examples that help you develop skills to integrate Echo and chatbots into Facebook, Slack, and Twilio with the Amazon Lex platform. The book starts with teaching you how to set up your local environment and AWS CLI so that you can automate the process of uploading AWS Lambda from your local machine. You will then learn to develop Alexa Skills and Lex chatbots using Lambda functions to control functionality. Once you’ve come to grips with this, you will learn to create increasingly complex chatbots, integrate Amazon S3, and change the way Alexa talks to the user. In the concluding chapters, we shift our focus to Amazon Lex and messaging chatbots. We will explore Alexa, learn about DynamoDB databases, and add cards to user conversations. By the end of this book, you will have explored a full set of technologies that will enable you to create your own voice and messaging chatbots using Amazon.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)

Testing your skills

Now that we've built and deployed our new Alexa Skill, we need to test it out and see whether it works. At the top of the page, there are four tabs: Build, Test, Launch, and Measure. We've finished with Build, so we can click on Test. Click the toggle at the top of the page to enable testing for this skill:

Test screen

To interact with your new skill, you can either type your messages or click and hold the microphone button and talk to your computer like you would with Alexa. To test your skill by talking to it, you will need a microphone on your laptop or PC, and have allowed the web page to access that microphone. As soon as you hit Enter or let go of the microphone button, you'll see Alexa loading and then she'll reply with your intent and add the message to the chat window. As well as the response from Alexa, you also get information...