Your app can now use the same deep-learning technology inside Amazon’s Alexa

Announcing Amazon Lex support for Slack

Art by Pete Ryan

Within a conversation, the context that comes more naturally in human dialogue can be complex for a bot to process.

If, for instance, a person asks a bot to “tell me about George Washington,” that bot needs to understand whether they are asking about George Washington the person, the university, or the bridge in New York City, before determining how to respond. The advanced natural language processing algorithms required for an analysis like this can be hard to build and expensive to implement.

Starting today, you can use Amazon Lex — the deep-learning technology that powers Amazon’s Alexa assistant — to build a Slack bot that better understands human intent and responds accordingly.

This is possible thanks to the Amazon Lex bot creation console, where you can build a bot, design its conversations, and test it as an end user would experience it.

Use the Lex console to design your bot’s conversational flow.

For example, if you wanted to build a bot that can make restaurant reservations, you can design it in the Amazon Lex console to respond with follow-up questions about a user’s food preferences, provide options for possible time slots, and then use AWS Lambda functions to fulfill the user’s request for a booking.

When people interact with your bot within Slack, Amazon Lex will intelligently process your user’s text, searching for keywords from sample data and then determining how to respond — for example, by prompting the user for more information or executing a business action to complete their request.

When you’re ready to deploy your bot, you can integrate it with Slack right from the Lex interface. Since this service runs in AWS Cloud, you have a direct path to hosting, managing, and scaling your bot’s infrastructure.

Join the Chatbot Challenge

Ready to start building?

We’ve joined forces with AWS to co-host the Chatbot Challenge, a global challenge to build engaging chatbots with Amazon Lex and AWS Lambda.

You can register for the challenge today, with submissions due on July 18. Your bot will be judged on its utility and creativity by our lead developer advocate Bear Douglas alongside technical leads from AWS.

Aside from the chance to win some pretty great prizes, this challenge is a chance to flex your creativity by building a bot that helps teams achieve more advanced workflows in Slack. We can’t wait to see what you build!

Sign up to participate in the Chatbot Challenge, or visit our Slack platform ideaboard to get inspired on what to create.