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)


This chapter has been an introduction to Amazon Lex. You've learned that Lex and Alexa are very similar in form and function, but there are a few differences in how they are built and how they work.

We can now create a Lex chatbot with intents, slots, and hardcoded responses. We can then increase the functionality by creating Lambdas to handle intent fulfillment. One advantage of Lex over Alexa is that we can use multiple Lambdas to handle different intents. To help us easily respond to Lex, we created a Lex class that maps values into the correct response format.

We used these skills to build an FAQ chatbot that gets data from S3 and uses that to generate a response.

In the next chapter we will take what we have learned in this chapter and build upon it by adding a database to our chatbot. We will use DynamoDB to store information about the chat, allowing us to...