December 9, 2023

Chatbot Club 2023


We’re pleased to introduce a project that has been cooking at Japeto over the past few months: the Chatbot Club. Over an 11-week long enrichment program, Japeto worked with top students to build a chatbot from zero to prototype.

This has been a fantastic opportunity to partner with Harlow College to create a one-of-kind enrichment to supplement their Games Design and Development course.

Harlow College

Harlow College isn’t just our local educational institution but also a hub of innovation. The college has earned attention for its forward-thinking education approach, including earning the prestigious Apple Distinguished School status for its pioneering use of technology. They’re also actively pursuing ways to bring AI into their school to improve the teacher and student experience.

Harlow College is an Apple Distinguished School. Read about Tim Cook’s visit to campus.

Photo the Games Design and Development area - photo credit to AD Architects

User-Focused Chatbots: Our Beta Programme

The Chatbot Club was designed to work with our beta test programme. With support from the UKRI Innovate UK Smart Grant, we are developing better AI-chatbot building and management tools specifically for organisations with safegaurding concerns.

As part of our development, we want to consistently check-in and get feedback from real users. That is why we’ve created a beta programme where we actively seek partnerships with organisations focused on social good, prioritising those with specific needs in data, safeguarding, and privacy.

Our collaboration with Harlow College on safeguarding aligns perfectly with our mission, addressing the critical and legal requirements for organisations working with minors and vulnerable adults.

Building Hart: A Collaborative Journey with Students

In the heart of the 11-week Chatbot Club at Harlow College, our partnership embarked on a journey to building a chatbot but also arm students with practical experience in software development.

Hart is a wellbeing and safeguarding chatbot designed for students, by students.

Throughout the enrichment, students learned about the technology powering Japeto’s chatbots including natural language understanding (NLU), as well as software architecture, design, user testing, and project management.

This holistic approach not only equipped them with technical skills but also fostered collaboration, creativity, and an understanding of real-world challenges.

Safeguarding with Hart: A Vital Initiative

Safeguarding is a paramount concern, especially for organisations dealing with minors and vulnerable adults. The 2023 Charity Digital Skills report reveals that only 47% of organisations consider themselves excellent at safeguarding users. Recognising this gap, our partnership with Harlow College aimed to address safeguarding concerns through the development of an AI-powered chatbot—Hart.

Hart serves as a virtual assistant, offering 24/7 support on issues related to mental health, substance abuse, crime, health and safety, and other safeguarding topics.

Students (from left to right) Jamie, Owen, Leila, and Nathan do their daily standup

Live Demo and Future Developments

Join us for a live demo of the Chatbot Club’s hard work on Wednesday December 13, 2023 at the Arise Innovation Hub. Harlow College students will share case studies, providing insights into the successes and challenges of the experimental development process.

If you’re interested in seeing how AI tools can help your organisation or are interested in similar programmes, get in touch through our contact form.

Finally, on behalf of Japeto, a big THANK YOU to the great team at Harlow College and fantastic students who made Hart happen.

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