Mother Nature at her Best

We are seeing numerous articles these days about how Mother Nature is healing amidst the lockdown. The air is cleaner, the birds are chirping louder and many animals are out and about wandering curiously. It is wonderful to see that the Holy Ganga has self cleaned itself faster and better than what we humans have tried for years.

A little birdie has made a beautiful nest in one of our flower plants. I just figured out that the bird is a Bulbul. It is amazing to see how these little birds build such safe and cozy homes for their little ones.

 

And then there are these bees who have been living on the Curry Patta tree for months now. Initially I used to be afraid to go near them and was looking at ways to drive them away. But over time I realized that they were harmless. The pollution and urbanization in cities is threatening the bees, so the least I could do is to let them stay.

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My love for nature can be attributed to my upbringing. I grew up in a jungle-like green campus with tall dense trees, with monkeys and deers for company. While I always admired greenery, I barely made any contribution to it previously.

My mother has played a big part in transforming me here. For 10 years in Silicon Valley, my mornings started and ended with my laptop. When I moved back to India, watering all the plants in our big garden everyday seemed like a chore.

Then my mother showed me little treasures hidden in the garden. And along with learning to love working in the garden, I learnt an important management lesson on how to motivate your employees.

Here are some hidden treasures from our garden:

Bramha kamal – A flower that blooms in the night only once a year

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A single 5 petaled flower among all 4 petaled ones, can you find it below?

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Here are some of the beautiful flowers from our garden

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Slowly as time passed, I got hooked to this magical green wonderland. Today I love spending time in the garden and doing my little bit towards conserving nature. The happiness I feel is immense. I have realized that when you give a little to nature, you receive joy many times over.

Multi City Web Platform

When we developed belgauminfo.com, we realized that such a platform if available for other cities, would be beneficial for them as well.

The Government of India has identified 100 cities to be developed under the Smart City program. While some cities have more dedicated resources focused on the city development, there are smaller cities in the list(Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities) that need additional help.

We have generated a software that simply automates the process of replicating the city web platform for multiple cities. The advantage of this is drastic reduction in time, effort and cost. In addition, the web platform provides automatic hosting, support for multilingual content as well as chatbot support.

Take a look at the demo here:

City Chatbot

Chatbots are usually implemented in two ways:

  • Click Based Approach

In this approach, people do not have freedom to type in their questions. The user inputs are restricted to the options provided to them as clickable buttons. These buttons, on click offer further options. The advantage of this approach is that, it is less error prone with the chatbot controlling the flow. The disadvantage of this approach is that it may take multiple clicks/ steps to fetch answers.

Several banking websites have such chatbots.

 

  •  Free Format Approach

In this approach, the user is free to type and ask any question. The advantage of this approach is that the user gets a much quicker response. The disadvantage is the umpteen number of possibilities that need to be supported while implementing the chatbot.

Siri, Google Assistant are examples of such chatbots.

The ideal way to implement such chatbots is via Machine learning. And while that is the preferred approach, it is also highly resource(CPU/ Memory/ HD) intensive. For a solution with a limited data subset, there is no need to support every possibility under the sun. It is not only expensive to build such models, but at times irrelevant as well. For instance, the City Chatbot doesn’t need to answer random queries like ‘Explain Big Bang theory’ nor ‘Who will win the World Cup’.

The Chatbot we are building from scratch, uses a hybrid approach between both the models above, utilizing our City database schema as guidance.

Before we roll out the release, here is a sneak peak into ‘Click based approach’ of our City Chatbot:

We hope to release our chatbot within a month after testing and including the ‘Free Format Approach’ as well.

And we will use the analytics based on user interaction to continue feeding the chatbot with further improvements.