Using Artificial Intelligence to Answer Your Customers Questions

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising and disrupting how business is done and the implications will create significant challenges and opportunities for the way businesses communicate with there customers. That’s why we have created a new show called Introducing AI, the first episode of which will be streamed live tomorrow, on April 4th, it goes deep into how you can use AI but if you can’t wait and want to discover AI for yourself why not build your own intelligent Question and answer bot today.

Sage accounting recently added a Question and Answer feature into their bot Pegg. Pegg is an assistant who can answer questions about payroll year end and it uses the same underlying technology that I’m going to show you in this tutorial. Your bot can work on a website like Sage’s and can even be deployed to Facebook Messenger, Skype, Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Step 1 : Login and Create a service

Head over to and sign in using a Microsoft Account, and Click on Create New Service.

A screen shot showing QnA Maker

A screen shot from QnA maker

Step 2:  Add your questions and Answers

You will need to give your service a name. I’ve called mine “Introducing AI”
One of the basic requirements in writing your own Bot service is to give it some questions and answers. If your company has a FAQ page then you can add that URL to your service otherwise you can upload an excel spreadsheet of questions and answers. For my bot I’m going to use the URL:  which is a sample FAQ I have created for this tutorial.
Once you have filled in the form, Click Create.

Step 3: Publish the Service

The system will now add any Questions and Answers it finds and add them to the Q&A maker Knowledge Base. The model will be trained against these questions and you are now able to publish. Press the publish button, it will take a few minutes and then you will see a screen where you need to review the changes you are going to make to your service. If your happy with everything, click on the publish button again. This will take a few minutes and then you will be given a web address for your bot service.

Step 4: Test the bot

You can now click on the Edit Service Button and when the page loads you will see a “Test” tab on the left.
This test area allows you to use a web based bot to interact with the service. You can start asking the bot questions. Below I have asked, “Do you know Mr Beeby” and bot Replies with the answer I gave for the Question “Who is Martin Beeby” the bot service is using Machine Learning to figure out the most likely response and giving me a good answer to my question. In this interface you can train the service on what answers it should give to specific questions and you can add new responses for questions that your current Q&A doesn’t handle.

A screen shot of the bot in action

The Resulting bot in action

Step 5 – Adding the service to a public Bot

Now you have a bot service you can easily add it to the bot framework using an Azure function so that you can use it in Skype, Facebook and other Chat systems. To do this Check out the Azure Bot Templates for Question and Answer Bot. You can light up the QnA Bot in Skype and other messaging apps in a few clicks, and then share it with anyone.

If you want to know more about AI check out the Introducing AI show on Channel 9. Don’t miss out - Add the 4th of April 12:30 - 13:30 to your diary now!  And tune in on the 4th

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