From zero to hero: Creating a chatbot with Rasa NLU and Rasa Core

AI assistants are a hot topic these days. Chances are that you have already had an encounter with at least one of them, as a user or as a developer. In this post, I would like to talk about a stack of software called Rasa, which you should definitely include in your toolbox if you would like to build conversational assistants yourself.

In short, Rasa NLU and Rasa Core are two open source Python libraries for development of conversational AI. They are packed with Machine Learning and handle natural language understanding and dialogue management tasks. Most importantly, Rasa stack is easy to use, you don’t need massive amounts of training data to get started and it is perfectly suited for production.

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What is XGBoost and why you should include it in your Machine Learning toolbox

Over the past few years, Machine Learning has taken a leading role in the discovery of data-driven solutions. Of these solutions, classification is by far one of the most commonly used areas of Machine Learning which is widely applied in fraud detection, image classification, ad click-through rate prediction, identification of medical conditions and a number of other areas. There is a range of different classification algorithms, but over the years single-model approach is being replaced by ensemble methods which combine a number of different algorithms and provide more accurate results than separate models. If you have ever tried to apply an ensemble method on a big data set you should have definitely run into a very common problem – the computation takes hours, sometimes even days or weeks, unless you have a powerful machine.

At the Higgs Boson Data Science competition, everyone’s attention was caught by XGBoost – a new classification algorithm which outperformed all other Machine Learning algorithms used in this competition and brought the 1st place to its developers. By its nature, XGBoost is similar to GBM, because it’s a tree-based approach, but its flexibility, scalability, and exceptional accuracy is superior to GBM and other classification methods.

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