How to make Bots Using Windows


via Everything You Need to Build A Chatbot

Chat bots are all the rage in the dev world. They represent the face of a new era of computing, one where we will not just use our computers, but communicate with them. Conversation is increasingly integral to our interactions with technology – most tech companies are adopting digital personal assistants, and many companies outside of the tech space are adding chat components to their sites to streamline customer service. But bots go way beyond these use cases, and are in fact part of a bigger story: the democratization of AI.

What is a chat bot? What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence is not a new idea, but until recently it has been reserved for advanced researchers and big-dollar-backed computer scientists. In the last two years, tech giants have released cloud-based services to expose the rich capabilities of artificial intelligence to the average developer, in the form of SDKs and APIs. These tools have enabled devs like me to build intelligent chat bots without having to learn deep machine learning techniques. Here are the tools I use to build my bots, teach them, and deploy them to the public!

Build It

Microsoft Bot Framework  |  Language: C# or Node.js

At their annual developer conference in 2016, Microsoft announced its commitment to Conversations as a Platform, and along with it a suite of new tools to develop apps that fit this movement. The Bot Framework is an open source SDK for bot development that allows developers to easily implement conversational capabilities into their apps, like dialog, context, and prompts. Here is a simple bot that prompts the user to enter their name and says “Hello <NAME>” to the user.

bot-hello-world

For more code samples of the Bot Framework at work, check out and star my botdemo project on GitHub (see the full repo here).

Teach It

A bot without brains is just a series of automated processes. In order to develop a bot that can seem human, you have to implement components of intelligence that will allow your bot to perform smarter tasks and gain a richer understanding of the user so it can provide better results. To do this I use Microsoft Cognitive Services, a set of APIs that expose rich machine intelligence capabilities under five different categories: Vision, Speech, Language, Knowledge, and Search. I like to think of these as the five sense of intelligent computing, because each category tackles a different form of interaction or capability. Here are some of my favourites:

LUIS – Language Understanding Intelligence Service. Leveraging machine learning, LUIS is an API that lets your app determine user intent, and is an absolute must for bot developers. LUIS has a web portal where you can build a model of your own customized intents and entities, and train it on specific utterances that a user might use. Each intent represents a user action, and each entity is a potential user input that relates to those actions. For example, if you’re building a bot to make travel plans, your user might want to book a car, book a hotel, or book a flight. These would each be separate intents, and the city name, travel dates, and other key bits of information would be the entities. You would then train the model using different phrases that the user might enter – “I want to book a flight to Munich,” “Book me a hotel in Tokyo next week,” or “I need to book a car to drive from Toronto to Ottawa on May 3rd.” The more you train the model, the more it will understand the different ways a user might initiate the dialog. This will allow your bot to make an educated guess and guide the conversation correctly even when the user inputs a sentence in a way it has never seen before.

In the below screenshot, a simple intent matching is demonstrated. Using a LUIS recognizer (an element of the botbuilder SDK), and depending on which intent it recognizes, we trigger a different corresponding dialog.

bot-luis-screenshot

Emotion API. With face detection, this API detects the landmarks of the face and identifies the emotion that the identified face is displaying.

Text Analytics. This API serves a variety of purposes, exposing information about the text, most likely in this case the user input. This includes sentiment information, which gives a score of the user’s positive/negative sentiment; key phrase extraction, which returns key “talking points” in the input string; topic detection, which returns the main topic of the input, and the language of the input.

There are currently 25 APIs available in the Cognitive Services suite, which makes for a lot of brainpower for your bots!

Deploy It

One of the biggest benefits of bots over other apps is they allow you to truly meet your users where they are; instead of having users download a new app, you can make your bot available on platforms that users are already on, like Messenger, Kik, Slack, Skype, and so on.

The Bot Framework offers great connectivity to these platforms through the Bot Connector Service. It guides you through the process of obtaining all the keys and components necessary to publish your bot to each platform, and helps you submit it to be published.

For more code samples of the Bot Framework at work, check out and star my botdemo project on GitHub (see the full repo here).

github_sagefranch_octogirl

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Note: although I work at Microsoft, this post was not incentivized by the company in any way. I use these tools at work and in my personal projects, because I genuinely find them to be effective tools for developing great bots!

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trendy_techie_logo_2014

CHASE BANK kenya VS SBM Holding


So Chase Kenya, the bank that pre-2016 had branded itself as a
RECEIPT AND ACCEPTANCE OF A BINDING OFFER FROM SBM HOLDINGS LIMITED (SBM) WITH RESPECT TO CHASE BANK (KENYA) LIMITED (IN RECEIVERSHIP) (CBLR)
Press Releases  |
Fri, 05 Jan 2018Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) announce the receipt and acceptance of a Binding Offer from SBM Holdings Limited (SBM) with respect to Chase Bank (Kenya) Limited (In Receivership) (CBLR)The Binding Offer, accepted on 4 January 2018, includes the acquisition of certain assets and matched liabilities from CBLR. This Binding Offer is similar to the Non-Binding Offer that was discussed with depositors on October 6, 2017. The offer still needs to be executed and operationalised, and it is expected that this transaction will inter alia ensure the transfer of 75 percent of the value of deposits currently under moratorium and the transfer of staff and branches of the existing CBLR operations

Mergers and Aquisitions 2017/2018


courtesy BANK KELELE 254

 

Banking and Finance: Finance, Law, & Insurance M&A

Centum Investments is selling its shareholding in GenAfrica Asset Managers to Kuramo Capital LLC, an independent investment management firm based in New York City with offices in Nairobi and Lagos, and registered as an investment advisor by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Centum sold 25% of Platcorp Holdings to Suzerian Investments a consortium of the Platcorp management team (platinum credit and premier credit) which provides emergency loans to individuals in Kenya Uganda Tanzania while Premier offers working capital loans to companies – at a 31% return.

AfricInvest, a leading pan-African mid-cap-focused private equity firm invested in Britam Holdings Plc (Britam), taking up a 14.3% stake. The investment was made in partnership with DEG-Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), The Dutch Development Bank FMO, and Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), focused on private sector development.

Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates (HH&M), one of Kenya’s oldest and largest law firm has entered into an agreement to combine with Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Upon regulatory approval, HH&M will become part of Dentons, which is combining with seven elite firms in Africa, the Caribbean and South East Asia.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK)has authorized the proposed acquisition of control in AON Kenya Insurance Brokers by Extologix Proprietary through Heartland Holdings.

BitPesa, the first and largest blockchain payments platform for Africa and Europe, announced their acquisition of TransferZero, an international, online money transfer platform that specializes in sending money to consumers and companies in 200 countries using over 50 different currencies.

ceo Bitpesa

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BitPesa, the first and largest blockchain payments platform for Africa and Europe, announced today their acquisition of TransferZero, an international, online money transfer platform that specializes in sending money to consumers and companies in 200 countries using over 50 different currencies.

TransferZero is a partner of Bankia, Spain’s third-largest bank and has pioneered a number of innovations in the European FinTech sector.

BitPesa is one of the few global companies to have licensing and infrastructure in both Africa and Europe. Under the acquisition, TransferZero will continue to operate under the same brand name and all of its employees will stay with BitPesa. Their headquarters will remain in Madrid.

“Europe is a hub for global remittance and payments companies,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder, and CEO of BitPesa. “Digital currencies and decentralized technology have hit critical mass in the financial services and payments space. It is no longer a question of whether this technology will have staying power—rather, which specific technology and what product iteration will launch and scale first. This past year was groundbreaking for digital payments and blockchain, as we saw Japan and Korea, two major Asian economies, come out with clear regulation that supported a booming sector. The UK, Europe, and Switzerland also solidified their position in support of payment companies using this technology,” added Rossiello.

“BitPesa has the support of top-tier, institutional investors and a network that will help to bring TransferZero’s technology to the next level,” said Luis Cambronero, former CEO of TransferZero and current MD at BitPesa. “With this support, we will be able to provide even more efficient transfers and user experience,” said Cambronero.

TransferZero has network integrations on four continents, and a team with decades of experience working with enterprise clients in need of global payment solutions. They are the only remittance company that does not charge a fee, aside from a small percentage in the FX.

“This is truly a partnership where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, allowing BitPesa to solidify our leadership in this space,” said Rossiello. “By bringing our regional and technological expertise together, we will further accelerate our month-to-month growth,” Rossiello concluded.

 

Mastercard has completed its acquisition of mobile payments technology company Oltio from Standard Bank Group. The acquisition builds on Mastercard’s longstanding relationship with Oltio’s technology enables consumers to authenticate Masterpass digital wallet purchases in South Africa using their bank PIN and mobile phone.

DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, is investing EUROS 4 ,000,000 in M-BIRR, a cashless money transfer and payment service in Ethiopia to improved access to banking services in Ethiopia on a wide scale. Other investors include the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Finnish development finance company Finnfund has been a shareholder in M-BIRR since as early as 2012 which is inspired by the success story of the Kenyan provider M-PESA.

The Competition Authority authorized the proposed acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Youjay’s Insurance Brokers by I & M Insurance Agency.

Customers of Chase Bank were given an update by the Central Bank (CBK) and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) on the ongoing takeover of selected assets and liabilities of their bank by State Bank of Mauritius (SBM).

Food & Beverage M&A

A South-African based private equity fund has invested Sh404 million ($4 million) to acquire an undisclosed stake in Kenyan fast food chain Big Square. Uqalo says its investment will expand its footprint from the current nine stores to 30 over the next four years. Uqalo, which targets investments located in Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria, is primarily funded by Hong Kong-based supply chain and logistics conglomerate Fung Group and its strategy is to acquire minority stakes by investing between Sh202m and Sh506m ($2m and $5m) in “mature businesses” through equity or convertible debt (via Business Daily).

The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of 100% shareholding in Nairobi Java House limited by Star Foods Holding

Wow Beverages has made an application to enter into exclusive import arrangements with specified international and local manufacturers and suppliers of ‘premium’ wines and spirits in Kenya – from Gallo Vineyards Inc. trading as E&J Gallow Winery Europe, Vina San Pedro Tarapasca S.A, Felix Solis Avantis S.A, Afrique Interlink (PTY), Interlink (PTY) Limited, Edrington Group Limited and Tradall S.A (Bacardi-Martini Group).

Seaboard has made a low offer to buy out other minority shareholders of Unga.

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Chebut factory is set to take over management of 260 acres of mature tea owned by the Nandi county government after the conclusion of ongoing negotiations.

Logistics, Engineering, & Agri-Biz M&A

Moovit

Ascent Rift Valley Fund (ARVF), a leading SME Private Equity Fund investor will acquire a majority stake in Auto Springs East Africa, a Limuru-based factory that produces a wide range of products for the motor assembly and vehicle spare parts industry. It will be done in a partnership deal with SFC Finance.

Sendy, an app-based on-demand delivery services platform operating across Kenya, has completed a Series A investment round, led by DOB Equity. DOB Equity will invest alongside CFAO, member of the Toyota Group, and other private investors. DOB Equity says that the new funds will enable Sendy to increase their platforms’ service offering. This includes adding more delivery vehicles to their platform, increasing their coverage area, expanding the sales and technology team, and preparing for future expansion into neighboring countries in East Africa.

The owners of flower farm Karuturi Limited have secured an investor to inject fund into their business as they fight to save their priced asset from being auctioned by CfC Stanbic over Sh1.8 billion loan default. The firm in a statement said that it has reached an agreement with Phoenix Group for a ‘blend of debt and equity’ which will help it to meet its current debt obligations and restart its operations (Via Business Daily)

Ethiopia acquires 19% in Berbera Port becoming a strategic shareholder; UAE’s DP World has 51% while Somaliland gets 30% following the agreement being signed.

Trading on Express Kenya shares has resumed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) after a three-month suspension following a takeover bid by the firm’s CEO Hector Diniz. Diniz Holdings, an investment firm, has bid to acquire the 38.36% stake held by other shareholders other than its affiliates for Sh5.50 a share. (Via Business Daily).

The Competition Authority authorized the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Trillvane Ltd by Kuehne+ Nagel limited.

The Competition Authority authorized the proposed acquisition of Carzan Flowers (Kenya) limited by Star Bright Holdings.

The Competition Authority authorized the proposed acquisition by Diamond (bc) b.v. of the Diversey Care division of Sealed Air corporation (“sealed air”) and of Sealed Air’s food hygiene and cleaning business within its food care division.

The Competition Authority authorizes the proposed acquisition of 51% shareholding in Mavuno Fertilizers Limited by Omya (Schweiz) Ag.

Trans Miller Limited carrying on the business of food processing, packaging and distribution and other related agri-business activities, situate at L.R. No. 4953/1185, Thika, have been sold and transferred by the transferor to Tahuna Limited, who will carry on the said business of manufacturing under the name and style of Tahuna Limited.

Funguo Investments Limited has acquired a majority – 51% stake in Feastfoods Processors Limited, a food processing company that has been set up to manufacture fruit juice puree and concentrates in Kwale County (via Business Today)

Airline/ Oil/Energy/Mining M&A

 

Kenya Airways PLC, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) and Societe Air France S.A (Air France) have made an application under section 25 (1) of the Act for the exemption of their proposed Agreement of Accession and Amendment to Joint Venture Agreement (proposed Amended JV) from the provisions of section• A of Part III of the Act. The application for exemption is for an indefinite period (as long as the amended Agreement remains in force).1. The proposed Amended N agreement provides as follows —(a) the inclusion of Air France as a party to the Joint Venture Agreement (original JV agreement) between Kenya Airways and KU* and(b) that all references to KLM in the original JV be construed as a reference to both KLM and Air France.

There has been an ownership change at Safarilink as ALS Limited, one of the shareholders of the firm, sold its entire to Bridges Limited, a Ramco Group affiliate, and an existing shareholder. As a result of this private transaction, Captain Aslam Khan of ALS relinquished his position of chairman with Safarilink’s owners settling on Mr. Ngunze to steer the airline’s board (via Business Daily)

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group in Africa announced that it has finalized shareholders agreement with the Government of Zambia for the re-launch of Zambia Airways. The Government of Zambia will be the majority shareholder with 55% and Ethiopian will have 45% stakes in the airline – and this comes after another consolidation at Ethiopian.

Base Resources announced that it reached  agreement with World Titane Holdings whereby Base Resources will acquire an initial 85% interest in the wholly owned Mauritian subsidiaries of World Titane, which between them hold a 100% interest in the Toliara Sands Project in Madagascar. Base Resources will acquire the remaining 15% interest, with a further US$17 million payable on achievement of key milestones, as the project advances to mine development. The acquisition is to be funded by the A$100 million share offer currently underway, refer below for further details. Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur in late January 2018.

Investec Asset Management through its Africa Private Equity increased its investment in Mobisol with consortium partners the IFC and FMO. Mobisol, headquartered in Berlin deals with the energy demand from off-grid households and has operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda where it has sold 110,000 systems benefiting over 550,000 people.

(0IL) Following Total SA’s commitment, the Government has consented to a proposed acquisition of the issued and to-be-issued share capital of Maersk Oil Exploration International (Mogas Kenya) in respect of Blocks 10BA, 10BB and 13T. Earlier, Total had acquired Maersk Oil for $7.45 billion in a share and debt transaction.

Africa Finance Corporation and Harith General Partners (Aldwych Holdings) have merged their electricity generation assets into a new company – Anergi Holdings (includes Lake Turkana Wind Farm and Rabai Heavy Fuel plant in Kenya.

The competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of indirect control of Savannah Cement by Benson Sande Ndeta.

The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of Associated Vehicle Assemblers by Simba corporation.

 

Real Estate & Supermarkets M&A

Actis has agreed to sell its 79.5% majority stake in Mentor Management Limited a Kenyan project management company, to Turner & Townsend, a global construction and management consultant. The management team of MML will retain its minority stake. Actis acquired a controlling stake in MML in 2011 (Via Business Daily).

Mr. Price franchised business carried on by Deacons (East Africa) PLC will be transferred on or after 1st April, 2018 to MIRP Retail Kenya Limited  which will carry on the business.

Nakumatt Holdings and Tusker Mattresses have made an application under section 25 of the Act for the exemption of their proposed management services and loan Agreement for a period of three years.1. The terms of the agreement are that: Tuskys shall provide management services to Nakumatt including procurement and inventory management; Tuskys shall advance a loan to Nakumatt to provide it with emergency funding which shall be used to pay some of the outstanding amounts to employees and landlords; Tuskys shall provide recurring payment guarantees to the suppliers of the target to ensure the suppliers supply stocks to the following Nakumatt’s outlets: Village Market, Galleria, tikay Center, Lavington, Prestige, Mega, Highridge, Karen Crossoads, Ridgeways, Lifestyle, Embakasi, Garden City.

Telecommunications, Media & Publishing M&A

Kwesé has acquired a significant stake in iflix Africa, which will now form part of Kwesé’s diverse broadcast offering, as the core vehicle to deliver seamless mobile experiences to millions of viewers in Africa. Having set up operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, iflix offers users the region’s most extensive collection of highly acclaimed local African and international series and movies, including first-to-market exclusive programming. This, in partnership with Kwesé’s broadcast operations and footprint, will create an exceptional mobile offering for consumers on the continent.

TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of global alternative asset firm TPG, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in TRACE, the market leader in afro-urban music and entertainment. The remaining stake will be owned by TRACE’s co-founder and management team. TPG Growth will invest alongside Evolution Media and Satya Capital. As part of the transaction, MTG, a leading international digital entertainment group that invested in TRACE in 2014, will sell its stake in the company.

International Paper and Board Supplies carrying on the business of trading in printing and packaging materials and consumables at L.R. No. 209/11066, will transfer all its business, stocks and assets to The Print Store who intends to carry on the business from the aforesaid premises.

The Competition Authority authorizes the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Alldean Networks limited, Simbanet com limited and Wananchi telecom limited by Synergy.

Pressmaster carrying on the business of trading in printing and packaging materials and consumables at L.R. No. 209/12156, will transfer all its business, stocks and assets to Pressmaster Africa Ltd.

The Competition Authority authorized the proposed acquisition of the assets and business of International Paper and Board Supplies Limited by the Print Stores Limited, on condition that the acquirer absorbs not less than 45 out of the current 78 employees in the target business.

The Competition Authority authorizes the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Pressmaster Africa Limited by Ramco Plexus.

 

Other M&AThe Competition Authority authorized the proposed acquisition of 40% of the ordinary shares in AAH (BVI) limited by Oman Trading International with certain veto rights.

Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta and the first Lady Madam Margaret at the Great Wall of China. Courtesy http://www.nomad.sleepout.com

 

world poets days


mandela contemporary artist

mandela

The night was set for a series of short films shot by non other than african creatives. the audience punctual and the organizers as ready for the Occassion as possible . especially with the fancy passion cake that was… and wasn’t there after a few bites.\

I have to say, you cant have a celebration without a cake and the office was lit after that.

Sorry we have to cancel for technical difficulties on the equipment side

the artists among them celebrities like Muthoni Drummer Queen and members of Nairobi half Life crew. The British Council was leading a series of short films shot by friends of the council and it was going great until the damn.. equipment went berserk.

All in all we… the most important of all, the people of the Republic had a great night out with the greatest of them all.

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DANCE FRIDAY AT PAWA254


dancefriday_session01courtesy_pawa254_Photography

NOTE TO SELF TODAY…

…new way to beat this weather this coming few weeks is following the dancers around Nairobi and seeing what they are up to. I am at the pawa254 co-working space working on a piece. The play writers and artists NGO (pawa254 ) is just off state house road and it has a space where serious artists usually meet for art purposes

 

FYI Dancing is an ART

 

The rhythm is set from energetic dances from the heart of Nairobi by professional instructors and dance crews. Imagine dance choreography and you are right, imagine dragons{maybe not that far} and just release your body to the rhythm.

godec

So #RevolutionKE isn’t that bad as you might think as we indulgent in this new obstacle called the youth Unemployment and youth contributing to the share of the national cake. So In the mean time as we have 1,000 Billion from the KRA taxman which is missing 84 Billion the budget cuts are going to be serious coming few days and I am glad the weather is doing its thing.

dancefrida2

KRA HAS 920 BILLION OUT OF 1,560 TARGET

REGARDS

THE KENYAN ECONOMIST

FEB/MARCH

Day three exclusive on the NIW2018


ConnectMed doing during the hand over ceremony

ThE sun was shinning bright today so I had to step out in my t-shirt and see what was going on as I had seen Joe Mucheru making a keynote speech at the renovated Taifa Hall that once hosted the first black president of the United States of America.

The tents are huge I cant explain this, unless you try Imagine 2000 people fitting at this space. The exhibition stands are as diverse as they come.

The first exciting innovation on my plate was the business pitches by startups in the category of business services and e-commerce. There were about 10 startups that participated in the pitch and the panel of judges chose only 3 for their presentation and preparedness for this specific day. They were putting their focus on how the startups were going to generate revenue and how well packaged their business model are.

The 3rd runner up was HR expert

2nd runners up were E-pate  who deal with the recovery or lost ID cards by posting lost ID cards from users.

First runners up Rate any service whose founder jokingly invited invited the Judges for coffee and they accepted.

more content tomorrow

Niw2018 day one


courtesy zydii media

#niw2018

The day started a bit low today due to the natural state of the weather that we are currently experiencing in the country. The NIW2018 stands for Nairobi Innovation Week and the first day of the week is today readers… have no fear for other exciting exclusives from the Kenyan.

The first event on my agenda was the design thinking event which the organizers had already set up and was ready to kick off by the scheduled time on the ‘timetable’. The room was packed with guys who had come to learn how to design thinking process is concurred.

design thinking

The coach who is from the African Nazarene university has been coaching teams since 2015 and has traveled across the region empowering individuals on the benefits of design thinking. The workshop usually takes around a week for the participants to grasp the idea.

The whole idea(in a nutshell!) deals with using post-it notes and charts provided by either the Impact team or the charts from the Stanford design school. They are what is termed as do it yourself activities and are easy to understand once you get the hang of it. It will  not regret it, I promise you this… be it your business or for fun.

Having fun during the exercise is key. Regards.