🚀 [Updated] Botpress Albert

Botpress Albert is the result of almost a year of feedback from the community and customers. Thanks to all of you! A few thousands of commits later, we are almost at the release date. We hosted a sneak peek of the platform for customers, community members and ambassadors that you can view here: Botpress Albert - Sneak Peek

Please leave your comments, ask your questions and we will do our best to address them. Cheers and thanks for your support.

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Where can I download Albert?

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It’s not officially available yet. You would need to build a Github branch and pull some tricks to be able to use it. I’ll let you know how to access it when the product team give me the green light.

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Okay, thank you.

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WORK ISN’T A PLACE
IT’S WHAT WE DO

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A little a bit of jetlag on my hand, but here is the link to request access to Botpress Albert: https://botpress.com/request-access

We made this version private beta because there are still some work to be done especially to update documentation and create a migration guide. If anyone is up for this, please let me know marc.mercier@botpress.com You would be of great help!

Can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Hi Marc,

I checked the Albert preview today. Is this an early alpha version or is it close to release?
I hope it’s an early alpha because I found a lot of things that are not working that well for us.

  1. if I import an existing bot, I don’t have access anymore to my QnA and NLU
  2. if I import an existing bot, the train button is not available
  3. if I import an existing bot, the debug window is not available
  4. I the config setting I set the language to german but the bot tells me all the time I’m using the wrong language.
  5. I the QnA section I can’t forward to a flow and node anymore. Or is that well hidden now? This was a really cool feature which should be kept.
  6. Where can I find the NLU intents now? In Albert I can’t find this and I work a lot with slots.
  7. In the qna section you can click on import and it asks me to select a JSON file, but JSON files are no longer accepted, only .tar.gz files.

Ok this is my first feedback for the moment.

Hi Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to try Botpress Albert and provide feedback. A lot of your points seem to be linked with the import of an existing chatbot which I assume was made with Botpress 12. I do not recommend importing it just yet, we will provide a migration guide to help you do that.

It is not an early alpha version, but we introduced some new concepts and new ways of doing things in order to support the next steps of our product development. I can understand how this might feel. Regarding your point #5:

Long answer, QnAs are quick questions that can be answered in the middle of a flow and then coming back to where the user was in the conversation (you can see them as conversational detours). If you want to flow to a specific node after your chatbot answered your question then you might want to use a “user wants” trigger (formerly intent) followed by a say node.
That’s how we thought of it but I would be interested to know more on your use case.

Regarding point #6:

Intents are now directly attached to the trigger block when you select user wants. It will be displayed in the panel on the right side of the screen.

Regarding point #7: We will look into it.

I hope this answers some your questions. I suggest we continue this by email. Please reach out at marc.mercier@botpress.com

Cheers,
Marc

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When is Albert expected to release? Also, will it be a smooth and easy migration from pre-Albert? I’m concerned about investing in Botpress right now if in a couple of months there will be major backward breaking changes.

Would you be able to share a release roadmap? It was mentioned in the video but I couldn’t find it anywhere on the forums.

I’m trying to use Botpress Albert in development on Heroku but am unable to deploy without a Dockerhub image.

Hi @fandy

Thanks for reaching out. We didn’t release the roadmap just yet. A few reasons for that, the number one reason is prioritization. We haven’t reached that item on the to do list.

Botpress Albert is currently in beta as you know and we are going to release improvements until it’s finally ready to become our LTS. With that being said, we are going to support chatbots made with Botpress 12 for 6-8 months and we will make sure to provide a migration guide to make it as easy as possible to transition.

Lastly for the Docker image, I am gonna loop in @EFF he probably has the answer to that question.

Cheers,
Marc

Hi @fandy,

The latest-built Docker image was about a month ago, so it is quite outdated, but if Heroku is your only way to get started, you can find it on Docker Hub.

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Is Botpress Albert going to be opensourced? If so, I have already the compiled version - where can I find the source code or repository for it?

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Hi @coderaven,

Albert is open source, just like the rest of Botpress! Development simply isn’t happening on the master branch, but it is in the same repository. “dev” is the main development branch.

Wow. That’s great to know. Thank you!

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HITL - Human in the Loop seems to be not working on the latest dev branch. I was able to build locally and ran locally. I also enabled HITL in the list of modules.

However, chatting in the emulator (in a workflow) doesn’t seem to add that as user in the list of conversations in HITL tab.

Any confirmations on this?

here is the error in the log:


Unhandled Rejection [Error, select * from `hitl_sessions` where `botId` = 'mcessation' and `channel` = 'web' and `userId` = 'ncxEocuHJaQVBf69VwLAw' and `thread_id` = '1' limit 1 - SQLITE_ERROR: no such column: thread_id]
STACK TRACE
Error: SQLITE_ERROR: no such column: thread_id

Hi @coderaven,

Thanks for trying our latest improvements.

However, by trying to create the best for botpress we’re re-creating a Human In The Loop module which is not totally complete in the latest development version.

If you really need it, I advise you to come back to the stable official version.

Else, you can just deactivate this feature and enjoy all the other improvement we made.

If you find any other pain point in the Albert release please let us know :slight_smile:

Have a good day and happy building :robot: !

Hi there!

Where is the Albert’s dialog to entities and slots? I can’t find it anywhere :frowning: Is there a new approach?

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Hey Luiz,

Indeed a new approach haha! Entities are now in the variable types and we use variables to replace slots. Essentially in the trigger block, when you enter the examples (utterances), you can insert variables by using the $ sign. For entities, you can create an enumeration type in variable types.

For slot extraction to work properly, always add a prompt in your workflow to ask the user for the variable if it was not provided in a previous message. The prompt will play the role of saving the extracted slot into the variable if it was provided in a previous message and the question will then be skipped.

Let me know if that answers your questions.
Marc

Thanks for your answer, @marcmerce!

In current Botpress, you have a entitie and an accurrence with it’s variations. It is very, very usefull because I can identify nicknames and cultural related terms.

I’m assuming that “Text Matching Tolerance” set to Loose will do the most work on typos, but how the new approach deal with that kind of need? In the image above you can see that the first occurence have a synonym that isn’t a typo or a simplification.

How can I do it in Albert?