Learn to make an AI Chatbot for your business or organisation for free

No credit card needed!

Introduction. This guide will help you learn how to create a fully working Chatbot using a third party system which is itself based on OpenAI's ChatGPT. None of this will cost you anything [unless you decide to start using it].

General v Directed Chatbots. Note that this page is about making an AI Chatbot that will respond to user questions in an informed way, a 'General Chatbot'. It will NOT do things like take customer details or make reservations. There will be a separate guide for that type of chatbot, a 'Directed Chatbot', or look at this successful UK company Poly AI and their customer service examples.

The best way to learn about this subject is to actually start building a chatbot and then interact with it to see how it responds. It will take you only an hour or two to become quite expert if you approach the task that way.

You will create your own free account when you start to use this tool. As it is a third-party supplier we cannot be sure how they will change their terms, however at the time of writing, if you start using your finished chatbot for more than testing then there are some small costs involved for light use. Naturally if your business or organisation attracts lots of users then that will cost more, but at every stage this is under your own control.

Step 1. Getting an account.

To set up your Free Chatbase account go to their website and follow the instructions below.

This is a small company that is developing on top of AI Chat tool ChatGPT. We selected them as they seem to be the best option at this time but we have no particular knowledge of them. You must do your own research if you plan to put any important trust in them. For now you are just learning about chatbots.

Note: the interface may change from that shown here, so please read the website carefully.

Need help? Lack time? We are always happy to give additional FREE ADVICE if you have a problem following these instructions. We do also offer paid support (for UK based companies and organisations only) to build a demo Chatbot for you. Hourly rate £ 75.00 per hour, minimum 4 hours paid in advance, which is enough to create most pilot level chatbots - set up under our own log-in then transferred to yours if required. Our email is at the foot of this page if this is of interest, subject line "ChatBot creation consultancy" please.

Step 2. Setting up your free Chatbase account. The image below is the home page of the Chatbase website.

Home of Chatbase to set up a free chatbot

2.1 Find the "Try it for free" button (top right of the screen usually) and press that:

Build your chatbot button to set up a free chatbot

2.2 Be sure to use details for the email etc that you will remember. There is nothing more frustrating than putting in the work to create a working chatbot and then losing the login details to improve and deploy it.

Email signup screen

2.3 You are now sent an email. Find this and follow what it says.

Email sign-up content

2.4 You should be redirected back to the site login page where your email and password will work to give you access.

Email signup screen

2.5 You now have a working Chatbase account, and should be seeing the page shown below. You will soon have a Chatbot of your own!

Chatbot start screen

Step 3. Preparing your information for your free Chatbase account. You are only learning how to make a free Chatbot but it will make a lot more sense if you use some real data.

Chatbot start screen

3.1 Sourcing relevant information.

There are many options you can select between for places you could source the information about your organisation that can be used by your Chatbot. This includes telling it to reference a website. Be careful with this approach though as information from a website is often inconsistent and out of date. You are far better to spend time at the beginning of this process carefully curating the information you are going to ask the Chatbot to use. Time spent now will avoid frustration and rework later.

A PDF containing Questions and Answers. For most people the best way is to create one or many pdf files with a Question and Answer format series of entries. The Chatbot will not use these exact words but will combine all of the information and decide how to answer.

If you do not have time to make your own pdf then you can always download the following example one:
- downloadable pdf about money making schemes to use in chatbot demonstration

One good reason for preparing your organisation's information as one or more pdfs is that you may wish to move to a different Chatbot. This is a fast developing area and you may discover a better supplier with an improved product or a less expensive cost for transactions. If your information is stored as pdfs then you can simply move them to the new solution.

Once you have clicked on the link you should be able to save it to your computer. As you will see, it contains 20 or so Q. and A. pairs on the topic of money making, just intended to be used in demonstrating the Chatbot. If you have time to make your own document then use that instead. You can have just a few entries if you want but that will limit the answers you get.

3.2 Uploading your information.

If you do decide to use a pdf file then you first need to make sure you still have the default lefthand side FILES tab selected. Next simply drag and drop the file onto the middle area, or browse to it. Your screen should then look similar to the one below, with the filename showing in the area towards the bottom of the screen


Screen with pdf uploaded.

3.3 Creating the basic Chatbot.

Note that in the "Sources" box to the right of the screen it will show how much of your source data allowance you have used. For example the sample file uses just 4,525 of 400,000 characters, or about 1%. This box also has the button you press to CREATE CHATBOT. Press it now!


The button to create a chatbot.

You will be able to add all sorts of information about the Chatbot later, such as its name, and you will also be able to amend the PDF or other information you supplied.

4. Testing the just created Chatbot.

4.1 The starting point. Because you have either used our example pdf, or have put in a limited amount of information, it should have taken less than 30 seconds for the Chatbot to be created. It has probably been given the same name as the pdf had, or equivalent, but that can be changed easily. The screen centre should look as the image below.

First version of the chatbot.

At the top you now have a series of Menu options that will be explored later.

Top menu above the chatbot.

4.2 Asking the first question.

In the following sections it is assumed that you used the prepared PDF mentioned above. If however you have used your own data then adapt your questions accordingly. Be sure to ask questions that can only be answered using the knowledge that you supplied - the underlying AI is already very clever.

First question and response on chatbot.

5. Configuring your new Chatbot.

5.1 Adding titles and standard questions. Assume that you are going to add your Chatbot to an existing website. It therefore needs to be clear to potential users how they would use it. If you have logged out and are returning to the website then you should now see a page like the following.

The chatbot ready for editing.

5.2 Changing the name of the chatbot. Click on the icon for your new chatbot and then on Settings on the top menu. You should see something like the following page. Look for the Name box towards the bottom left. There will already be something in there according to the particular information sourse you used earlier. Change it to something more useful.

The chatbot settings page.

5.3 Setting the 'Chat Interface'. You should notice that the lefthand side now has a menu. In the previous section it was on general. Click now on Chat Interface which will allow several changes to be made.

The chatbot chat interface screen.