You know, we just like raising awareness for Ukrainian culture. That is because only by revising something we can find a spot for this in our life. For instance, we were eager to prove that Taras Shevchenko, the most famous Ukrainian poet, is not just some grumpy moth-eaten grandpa – and not just a dusty portrait which can be found in every school. Instead, we wanted to show that Shevchenko was an agent of changes of the 19th century, who had a good sense of humor, twisted fate, and the insolence to wear his Karakul hat as a statement. We wanted to prove that Shevchenko's place is not only in history books – but in smartphones as well.
When developing Shevchenkobot, we worked with trigger mechanics. At first we created the semantic kernel to try to foresee what the bot will be asked about (as it turned out, it was asked a lot of strange questions!), and then we wrote the answers for the bot. We developed answers not just for some ordinary questions – the bot had answers for swearing, questions with mistakes in them, and for sets of random letters. Shevchenkobot had answers to a variety of questions, starting with "Who killed JFK?" and "So, did you herd lambs beyond the village on the lea?" (which is a homage to Shevchenko's famous verse "I Was Thirteen", as translated by John Weir) to "When they'll give hot water to the central heating?" and "What does the future hold for Ukraine?". The last question was particularly important, as we launched the project on the Independence Day of Ukraine.