TSU philologists are teaching everyone how to create chatbots

As part of the federal project Employment Promotion, TSU is launching a course titled Creating Chatbots with RASA. In 72 hours the attendees will learn how to create chatbots and place them on online and social media platforms, as well as messengers. Everyone – even those with the most elementary understanding of Python programming – are welcome to take part. 

The course is managed by the representatives of the Department of General, Computative, and Cognitive Linguistics and the Laboratory of Linguistic Anthropology of the Faculty of Philology. 

"In this day and age, digital linguistics are evidently a sought-after area of focus: this is proven by a study that we conducted, and by the fact that our colleagues at the Institute of Distance Education approached us on the matter. With this kind of expertise in their portfolio, job seekers become more in-demand: they automate communication between a computer and a human being, liberating employees of certain companies from routine work," says the senior professor of the Department of General, Computative, and Cognitive Linguistics Andrey Stepanenko

The course was compiled by a postgraduate student of the Department of General, Computative, and Cognitive Linguistics, Veronika Dibrova

It is aimed at students of any age with secondary vocational or higher education, with general understanding of Windows/Linux OS and basic skill in Python programming (entry level and higher). However, if a person has never encountered Python, they will be offered some ready-made solutions. 

"There will be two lectures and five classes. In addition to these webinar meetings, members will be provided with practical tasks. As a project defense, course graduates will launch and present a prototype of their own chatbot. The course offers the basics of the basics for newcomers, there's no in-depth knowledge to be found there. But the Independent Work for Students section will include links to sources that will widen horizons and improve skills. Come to think of it, attendee-created chatbots can already be integrated, for example, into Telegram – and they will work, they will respond to users," notes Veronika Dibrova

Such bots will be useful to companies that keep receiving repeated customer requests, for example, for a hotel or trip booking. 

"We are often approached by such companies – they rely on question-and-answer systems that require automation. In theory, course graduates will be able to get a job in a company that needs such algorithms to streamline communication with customers," adds Andrey Stepanenko. "Frankly, we are launching the chatbot development course as an experiment. If it turns out to be in demand, we will move on and provide professionals with new tutorials in digital linguistics and natural language processing. Meaning that there will be another course that will branch out to different topics. Creating Chatbots with RASA will launch once we meet the criteria for not less than 15 to 20 attendees." 

Follow the link if you want to learn more about the course or sign up for it.