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)

To get the most out of this book

Here is a list of things that you should have to make the most out of this book. You can complete this book without the second or third items, but lacking them will make the process harder:

  • Knowledge of at least one high-level programming language supported by AWS, but ideally JavaScript
  • Basic experience using command-line tools for Linux or macOS
  • A basic understanding of AWS services is helpful, but not required

Download the example code files

You can download the example code files for this book from your account at www.packt.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit www.packt.com/support and register to have the files emailed directly to you.

You can download the code files by following these steps:

  1. Log in or register at www.packt.com.
  2. Select the SUPPORT tab.
  3. Click on Code Downloads & Errata.
  4. Enter the name of the book in the Search box and follow the onscreen instructions.

Once the file is downloaded, please make sure that you unzip or extract the folder using the latest version of:

  • WinRAR/7-Zip for Windows
  • Zipeg/iZip/UnRarX for Mac
  • 7-Zip/PeaZip for Linux

The code bundle for the book is also hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/PacktPublishing/Hands-On-Chatbot-Development-with-Alexa-Skills-and-Amazon-Lex. In case there's an update to the code, it will be updated on the existing GitHub repository.

We also have other code bundles from our rich catalog of books and videos available at https://github.com/PacktPublishing/. Check them out!

Download the color images

We also provide a PDF file that has color images of the screenshots/diagrams used in this book. You can download it here: https://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/downloads/9781788993487_ColorImages.pdf.

Conventions used

There are a number of text conventions used throughout this book.

CodeInText: Indicates code in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles. Here is an example: "Mount the downloaded WebStorm-10*.dmg disk image file as another disk in your system."

A block of code is set as follows:

html, body, #map {
height: 100%;
margin: 0;
padding: 0
}

When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:

[default]
exten => s,1,Dial(Zap/1|30)
exten => s,2,Voicemail(u100)
exten => s,102,Voicemail(b100)
exten => i,1,Voicemail(s0)

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

$ mkdir css
$ cd css

Bold: Indicates a new term, an important word, or words that you see onscreen. For example, words in menus or dialogue boxes appear in the text like this. Here is an example: "Select System info from the Administration panel."

Warnings or important notes appear like this.
Tips and tricks appear like this.