Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Build a Collaborative Chatbot with Google Sheets and TensorFlow (jonathanbgn.com)
97 points by jonathanbgn on Nov 2, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

Please no more chatbots. Use the underlying tech to build a better search engine, but please stop recreating the concept of a search engine in a “chatbot.”

Whats frustrating is chatbots have the opportunity to be better than search. You can hold on to the conversation history as context for the next command and refine a search in a way a single command can't but no one seems to bother. As you say, chatbots are just poor search interfaces.

Chatbots are the wrong metaphor. Having a series of successfully refining queries is useful. Pretending that this happens through a dialogue with an intelligent interlocutor is false and misleading given the current level of technology. And hopefully it stays that way. As a biological human, I'm absolutely not looking forward having silicon & iron competition.

Its a hard challenge to create bots that have good UX and help users, even without taking context/history into account. A lot of companies are just focusing on getting that right, and delivering that value first.

But I think everyone building bots wants to go beyond that. I work on bots at Intercom and believe we can build bot experiences much better than traditional search.

At the same time, I think google search is heading a conversational direction - context now carries over between queries, and it seems like that naturally trends towards more conversational or agent interfaces.

Just a fancier CTRL+F on a FAQ page.

But it's quite amazing how easy it has become to use such complicated technologies to build useful products!

(To be clear, I am not trying to belittle what was done in the blog post.)

I wish a CTRL+F could be as smart as how OP implemented it with similarity search - Good chrome extension idea ?

The first demo of the OpenAI API is a search plugin for Chrome, but I don't think it's actually published.


Thats pretty cool, I knew they had a call to join the API but not this. Have you tried the plugin?

Hah, I wish!

A similar feature of soft Ctrl+F is available in the web version of Microsoft Word.


Disclaimer: Microsoft employee

I wonder if these simple methods can make these companies (https://www.boost.ai/) which claim to build smart chatbots for enterprises obsolete.

They do. We used to sell high-end projects for 50k a few years ago, but the price is dropping fast now the same projects costs about 1-5k dollars.

Not sure why you need the excel sheet. You can add all those intents in the dialog flow console itself? Cool none the less.

So that you can hand it off to a non-technical person.

Have you tried to teach anyone SQL before? A spreadsheet UI is accessible to a wider set of people.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact