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1. Understanding the Data

Having built the "San Francisco Expert" MeBot (, the initial API setup was actually pretty straightforward – except that I actually decided not to use API. The database was big and for the most part poorly kept in terms of format consistency. I downloaded it as a .csv, cleaned up the data a bit, and save it as .json. 

2. Designing Bot Personality

Building the bot personality was one of the toughest part of the process and one part I wish I have pushed more. I explored various types of personality – (1) a long-term SF residents who is opinionated about SF development, (2) a friendly corner store owner and a neighborhood know-how, and finally, (3) a City Hall intern who is courteous and with limit knowledge. 

Because the data was so technical, it was really hard to jazz up and make the information flow into everyday conversations ("I can't believe that department building only has 13 affordable units!"). As blend as the final bot's personality turned out to be, I actually appreciated the mild formality and was happy to arrive at the tone

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