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The friendly, fun, quirky chatbot
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The friendly, fun, quirky chatbot


Botster is a self-learning chatbot which aims to be able to hold intellectual conversations on a plethora of subjects. The nature of its responses aim to be useful as well as entertaining by providing factual information in some situations. Because Botster's intelligence is not preprogrammed, but developed autonomously from participating in conversations, it (in theory) is constantly getting smarter. The bot's intelligence is still very primitive, however we continue to explore, experiment, and implement new methods in hope of it becoming successfully competent.

Brain functions

Copy-cat learning

Botster stores all messages it receives in conversation and creates connections between these messages when one is said in response to another. This allows Botster to see what others replied with to a message so it can use the response for itself. When someone else says the same response to a message, the connection between them is strengthened. This informs Botster on which are the more popular responses and further aids in deciding on a suitable reply.

Fuzzy search

When a response doesn't exist for an input, Botster does a fuzzy search to find a similar utterance which does have a response. For example: a fuzzy search for "So, what is your name?" could find "What's your name?" and it would then go on to respond to that instead. This allows for Botster to provide a relevant response even when it doesn't have an exact match.

Spell check

Botster has its own custom database of words which it deems as valid English. To avoid learning spam and typos, Botster will only use responses where all of its words exists in this dictionary database.



  • Fork and clone the project to your local files.
  • Create a new database and import database/mysql/tables.sql into it.
  • Add ft_min_word_len=1 and ft_stopword_file="" under [mysqld] in your MySQL config file and restart MySQL.
  • Duplicate the application/config_templates/ directory as application/config/.
  • Edit the configuration files in application/config/ to match your environment.
  • Set RewriteBase in public/.htaccess to match your environment.
  • Make application/cache/ and application/logs/ directories writable to the web server.
  • Run composer install to install all PHP package dependencies.
  • Run bower install to install all front-end dependencies.
  • Compile all SCSS files in public/scss/ to public/css/.
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