Created by AI MVPs Jiarui Li and Huan Li, the open-source repository on GitHub has enabled more than 10,000 developers from countries around the world to make AI chatbots and connect to each other.
“We found that although the chatbot has become one of the hot spots of the internet and something which has been integrating and affecting everyone's lives, for most developers it remained really difficult to build a chatbot,” the Chinese duo says.
“Now, thanks to Microsoft AI techniques like Botframework and Cognitive Service, developers can build a chatbot quickly without any mathematical and algorithmic skills. With WeChaty, developers can use basic software and engineering skills to build an intelligent chatbot at a very low cost.”
For developers, WeChaty helps raise working efficiency and save time in three ways.
First, developers save the time of creating a basic framework, which usually takes three to six months. Second, the open-source ecosystem enables developers to leverage the work of others in their solutions. Third, WeChaty supports dozens of instant messaging platforms, so one chatbot can be migrated seamlessly between WeChat, WeChat Work, Gitter, WhatsApp, DingDing, Telegram, and others.
Launching in 2016, the duo has since built Microsoft AI plugins for WeChaty and given several tech talks at Microsoft Summit. Moreover, the duo has published a book, titled “Chatbot Zero to One: Practice Guide to Conversational Interaction Design,” in order to share their experience of building a chatbot using Microsoft technology.
During its history, WeChaty has been updated 24 times, attracted about 10,000 developers, and received more than 100 contributors.
“We built WeChaty to provide the community with a good communication platform,” the duo says. “They are passionate to test, find problems, and submit the quantity of pull requests to help WeChaty repair and grow in return. Certainly, we could say that without these fantastic contributors and community, we could not have today’s high-quality WeChaty!”
WeChaty actively supports this community with hundreds of technical blogs and videos, docs, and case studies available on the official website. Further, the team organizes Bot Friday, a weekly club for chatbot builders and chatbot entrepreneurs which discusses and explores technical problems.
“As Microsoft MVPs, we are always excited to hear “Thank you for sharing. Your project helps us to understand how AI-related projects can make a positive difference in the world’,” the duo says.
“In the future, we have a great vision to upgrade WeChaty from a Conversational SDK to SaaS, which will offer a more convenient and efficient service to everyone.”