French sports media outlet, L’Équipe, and dydu launch the first expert chatbot dedicated to the Ligue 1, France’s top football league. Looking for info about a season’s top goal scorer? A player, manager or club’s achievements? Botaldo has all the answers to your questions about French championship players and teams since the 1960s.
The idea for Botaldo came to Cyril Texier, co-founder of dydu and a football fan, on the way back from a trip to Luxemburg with his associates Mathieu Changeat and Jérôme Vérité in 2015. His idea was to take to the technology created by dydu, natural language processing, and apply it to a field he particularly enjoyed, football. The aim? To provide immediate answers to questions asked by football amateurs, who would otherwise find themselves scrolling through Wikipedia pages in search of the correct answer.
The dydu technology enables the chatbot to understand the users’ questions and requests, but we still needed the right answers! This issue was solved by connecting the chatbot to the L’Equipe sports media outlet’s Ligue 1 data, which dates back to the 1960s. dydu’s conversational expertise, combined with L’Equipe’s data, allows the chatbot to provide the user with correct answers, while ensuring the dialogue is as smooth as possible.
The chatbot provides answers to queries such as, “Tell me more about Marius Trésor”, “How many goals did Mbappé score for Monaco?”, or “What’s Jean-Pierre Papin’s record number of goals scored in one season?”. At the end of the answers, Botaldo formulates new suggestions, allowing the user to continue the conversation and find out more about their favourite players and clubs. The chatbot learns from the user dialogues, through supervised learning, and improves its football knowledge on a daily basis.
“Conversation is a new form of interaction that is developing more and more with the rise of messaging platforms,” comments Emmanuel Alix, director of the digital division at L’Equipe. “As the first sports media outlet in France, we had a duty to offer this new innovative form of exchange to our subscribers. Botaldo is the first chatbot in the world to offer such high quality sports content. We are currently studying the possibility of making it vocal and accessible to football fans via their connected speakers.”
“I am very proud to launch Botaldo at the start of this new football season,” Cyril Texier, co-founder of dydu, reveals. “As co-founder of dydu, this project is of course close to my heart, but also as a football fan, and more specifically of the Girondins de Bordeaux. This is a very ambitious project because, for over a year, we had to think about all the possible questions a user could ask and teach them all to Botaldo. I hope every football fan will love this chatbot as much as me.”