• Chatbots: history, technology, and a case analysis

      Jay, Benjamin (2020-08)
      This thesis examines the more than 50 year history of chatbots that led to the development of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. A chatbot, commonly known as a conversational agent, is a computer framework that can have a normal conversation with a user by using a natural language processor (Reshmi and Balakrishnan, 2018). The goal is to understand the psychological and mathematical theories that worked well throughout history, as well as those that did not, and the impact they had on the evolution of modern chatbots. This thesis incorporates these theories into a new chatbot created using Google’s chatbot AI platform called Dialogflow. By following a Coursera course titled Building Conversational Experiences with Dialogflow, this thesis creates a chatbot that can schedule tours of a school and can answer questions about the SUNY New Paltz 2020 Commencement ceremony. Creating even the most basic chatbot requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying theories and extensive coding experience (Abdul-Kader & Woods, 2015). This thesis assumes a foundation knowledge of computer coding.