Why writing matters: Tips and tricks for a concise Chat Bot


#1

I renamed the topic string to redirect it to offering helpful tips and tricks when writing the content of your chat bot. I will start by sharing my basic principle of concise writing. Concise sentences follow some simple guidelines:

First, keep your sentences in active voice–subject first followed by the verb. (seems simple right?) However, your subject should be concrete (the old person, place, thing bit) and not an abstract subject. Your verb should be active (active voice right), and avoid “to be” verbs whenever possible (is, was, were) because the reader gets more substance out of reading an actual action than an implied action.

Second, reduce adjectives (or purple language as it is some times referred to) and use them sparingly.

Third, kill all adverbs (okay, you can save a couple). Adverbs modify a verb, which means there is a better verb out there to describe the action than what you have (remember active verbs are king).

Finally, write with a positive tone. As it turns out, positive sentences use less words. Who knew!

Remember, these are guidelines. You can stray from time to time without too much impact to your concision, but a concise bot is a fast bot :wink:

Original Post below

When I was going to college to get my degree in English writing, I would often be asked if I was going to write a book or write articles for a newspaper. Apparently, that is the only use for professional writers according to everyone I met :joy: I would smile and nod to not be rude, but in my head I envisioned all the content swirling around the internet. The development, editing, revising, maintenance: all of it could benefit from a writer’s eye.

Often, writers are envisioned as some guy with 5 o’clock shadow dangling a cigarette from his mouth with a bottle of whiskey close at hand alternating between typing furiously and staring at the screen. The undertone of angst engulfing his general vicinity. However, we are anything but.

We are efficient with words. Concise in delivery. Calculated in our response. We focus on audience, rhetoric, tone, emotion, logic. We are students of symbols. A writer’s craft is to distill the overwhelming concept of life into a focused and relatable prose. “Make 'em bleed,” they say. I say, “let’s chat first.”

If you find an opportunity to utilize a writer, don’t hesitate unless they really do have a bottle of whiskey in hand (then just have a drink with them), What is everyone’s thoughts on using professional writers for your dialogue development? (Now that I soften you up to the idea :smile:) Do you see it as unnecessary? Or is there a market in professional chat writing?


What Makes For a Great Conversation With a Bot?
#2

This is interesting. I think some companies might be interested to get their copy work done for a conversational interface, by a professional writer like you who has done work in this. Although it may take some time for this to become common practice.

In any case, i want to share a Bot with you that i created some time back, which tells an existing story over conversational interface:
https://mantis.hellotars.com/conv/B1UbxO/


#3

I think there is a future for professional chat writing. At least for a while and in certain niches.

What we see now are the early stages of augmented/automated conversation. I believe the chatbot technology will evolve rapidly over the coming two-three years, eventually merging with other AI-technologies and becoming capabilities within larger products and platforms.

As for professional chat writing, I can see a future demand for chat dialogues that mimic various conversational styles based on factors like age, interests, cultural background, social context, situational context (e.g. layed back conversation vs. crisis management).

There could also be a demand for writing chat dialogues “in the style of”. For example in the style of characters in film/tv, celebrities etc.


#4

There is already a company who is making Bots for celebrities to act as them. Check out: http://personabots.com/

They made a bot for Christina Milian and I think they recently made a bot for Katy Perry for promoting her recent album release.


#5

And books are also appearing for teaching how to write for bots ( conversational style):


#7

These are some really good tips on language @Levi.
If you can give some sentence examples, contrasting the difference, to highlight each of those points, that would be really helpful.

Thanks again :smile:


#8

The ending dialog by Bogart the classic movie, Casblanca immediately come to mind! I spent a majority of my life in telecommunications building backends and integrations that just work, that nobody knew were there. The art of all our work happens when people interacting are not forced to learn something to reach to objective, they just arrive. I truly believe that your skills are critical for a seamless integration of bots into our world as that supportive friend rather than annoying irritating person we all know who grates on our nerves like nails on a chalk board. If the later takes hold all our lives will be miserable. So YES! we need the wordsmiths, BADLY!