Modern day agenda: Victoria teen creates chatbot to keep track of homework
It took the 14-year-old six months to create the chatbot, a project he worked on after school and on weekends. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Published Sunday, March 5, 2017 6:09PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, March 5, 2017 6:19PM PST
A 14-year-old Victoria boy is getting international attention after he created a unique solution to keep him on track with his homework.
Alec Jones designed the “Christopher Bot,” or what he calls the modern day agenda.
Once a user signs up online and inputs their class schedule, the bot sends a text after each class asking if any homework was assigned.
It provides the user with a summary so they know what needs to be done.
The grade nine student at Pacific Christian Secondary School also designed quirky responses to suit the topic you plug in.
“It acts like a friend does so it always says ‘it sucks you have homework,’” Jones said.
It took the 14-year-old six months to create the chatbot, a project he worked on after school and on weekends.
“I just like the idea of building something from scratch that can help people out,” he added.
The tool really picked up steam after it was featured in a BBC article last month.
“It’s still crazy to me that people are actually using it,” Jones said.
The student’s former teacher says the teen’s potential stems from his ability to work on his own, the fact that he spends his free time learning computer languages and going above and beyond on projects.
“Back in grade six he wanted to work for Google, he’d come back to my desk and we’d talk stocks,” Sean Rathburn said. “He’s kind of unusual that way, I’d say he has unlimited potential.”
The bot is even helping people outside of school keep track of their hectic schedules.
“Before Christopher Bot, I kept forgetting work I had to do. I may be out of school, but I rely on it to keep me on track with actions items every day,” CEO of Copy Hackers, Joanna Wiebe, writes on the Christopher Bot website.
Jones is reminding users the bot serves like a personal assistant, but it won’t do the work for you.
“I get people asking ‘oh does it do my homework for me?’” he said “If it did I’d probably have a lot more money than I do right now.”