Twitter bots are nothing new, but Dear Assistant is unique. It leverages Wolfram Alpha, the “answer engine” from Wolfram Research, to answer your questions on the social network.
We first stumbled on Dear Assistant by chance earlier this morning. A quick check through its tweets, which include answers to word meanings, weather conditions, language translation, time zone conversions, date calculations, led us to this gem:
As far as we could tell, this wasn’t built by Wolfram Alpha, but the answers certainly lined up. We asked Amit Agarwal, the bot’s creator, if our guess was correct.
“You got that right,” Agarwal told TNW in an email. “The bot is getting the answers through Wolfram. I have open sourced the bot so anyone can build upon it. The unique thing is that it is running as a Google Script inside Google Drive.”
Agarwal calls his creation “a mini version of Siri” which actually isn’t too far off given that Siri also leverages Wolfram Alpha. Furthermore, he explains you can quickly recreate it yourself:
For full instructions on how to write your own Twitter bot, check out Agarwal’s instructions here. The source code is available here.
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Image credit: Iva Villi