Building 18 powerful bots in 24 hours

Share this post:

The increasing adoption of artificial intelligence and human-like chat bots is changing the way we use our devices, and it’s allowing companies to interact with customers more immediately and easier than ever before. To embrace this change, we hosted our first IBM Watson UK Hackathon.

From the start, the space environment was filled with creativity, energy and teamwork. Watch this 3-minute video to see what it was like and hear from the developers and IBM experts who participated.



UK Build a Bot Hack by the Numbers:

  • 6-7 October is when the magic happened at the Rainmaking Loft in London
  • The hackathon had almost 100 attendees
  • 19 teams gave the judges a very tough challenge
  • 7 countries were represented including Ireland, UK, France, Switzerland, Norway, USA and China
  • 7 industries were represented including media and tech, banking, insurance, utilities, public sector, retail, professional services
  • 11 Watson Developers shared expertise and ideas
  • This all added up to 18 bots in just 24 hours

And the Winner Is…

After much deliberation, the judges selected Wingbot as the first place winner. Wingbot was made by a team representing the BBC. It is a chat bot designed to improve dating to help people find their match. Wingbot, playing on the idea of a Wingman, replaces useless tips from friends and allows a conversation to happen around what your date may be interested in to form a relatable conversation. Wingbot incorporates the Personality Insights API by entering a date’s twitter handle and providing talking points. If things aren’t going well, Wingbot can get you out of the situation and call you using Twilio with a recorded message for a variety of excuses.

Second and third place awards went to the Botmobile and Pru M&Genie Bot respectively.

This is just a small look at the innovation that happened at the IBM Watson Hackathon. There was not only a fantastic use of the Watson services, but also partner API’s such as Twilio, Tesla, SkyScanner and the Open Banking Project. These APIs allowed developers to produce incredible ideas and transform knowledge. In just 24 hours, individuals and teams who claimed to have ‘zero knowledge of Watson’ created amazing bots.

Pete Trainor, Founder & Director of HCD (Human Centered Design); Nexus CX, summarized this by saying, “getting away from a complex conversation and integrating real data transforms the potential of bots.”

If you are a developer looking for opportunities to code, compete, and hack with Watson, check out the Watson Developer Conference and bot competition.




Discover the power of the Watson Developer Cloud

More Events stories

How to provide a seamless chat experience with ServiceNow and Watson

December 5, 2019 | Conversational Services

The customer service challenge A new generation of customers expect quality service anytime, anywhere, on the channel they choose, and in the language of their choice. If they do not receive immediate support, your business may end up losing a customer. Businesses today can simply not afford to sacrifice their quality of customer service. One more

Watson Discovery’s new NLP feature prepare enterprises for LIBOR transition

December 4, 2019 | AI for the Enterprise

As a business owner, shielding your company from risk is among your primary concerns. You want to make certain that your decisions are security minded, sound and based on the best available data. So, when a scandal erupts around the longest running global interest rate standard – the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR – more

IBM announces new industry-leading NLP features inside Watson Discovery

December 4, 2019 | AI for the Enterprise, Discovery and Exploration

Do you want to better understand the insights hidden within your essential business documents? It’s time to try Watson Discovery – recognized by both Gartner and Forrester as a leader in extracting insights – for your AI search app needs. In July 2019, IBM Watson coupled Watson Discovery with IBM’s Cloud Pak for Data integration more