AI Chat: Your AI Companions

This application is your bridge between popular chat platforms like Slack and the powerful minds of LLMs like OpenAI and Anthropic's Claude. It empowers you to build AI bots with unique personalities that can seamlessly engage in conversations with users.


  • Multi-platform Versatility: Deploy your bots on Slack or add an integration to your own platform. Your digital puppets, your stage!
  • Personality is Key: Craft engaging bots with distinct personas and conversational styles. Witty, wise, or just plain weird - the choice is yours!
  • LLM Buffet: Pick and choose your LLM flavor - OpenAI and Anthropic are ready to be your bots' brains.
  • Streamlined Development with Encore: Built on Encore (, simplifying development and deployment so you can focus on crafting brilliant bot personalities.

System Design

AI Chat is a microservices-based application, with each service handling a specific aspect of the chatbot ecosystem. The services uses a combination of Encore APIs, pub/sub messaging, and WebSocket communication to orchestrate the flow of messages between chat platforms and LLM providers. You can explore the services and their interactions in the Local Dashboard.

System design diagram

Key Components

  • Chat Service: The orchestrator service, routing messages between chat platforms and LLM providers.
  • Slack Service: Manages the art of conversation with the Slack API.
  • Bot Service: Responsible for creating, storing, and managing bot profiles.
  • LLM Service: Formats prompts for LLMs, processes responses, and gracefully handles multiple LLM providers.
  • OpenAI Service: Interfaces with OpenAI's API for chat completions and image generation.
  • Claude Service: Integrates with Anthropic's Claude for even more chat completion options.

Main Flow

  1. A user sends a message in a connected chat channel
  2. The corresponding chat integration receives the message
  3. The integration publishes a message to the chat service
  4. The chat service identifies any bots in the channel and fetches their profiles and the channel's message history
  5. The chat service sends the message to the LLM service
  6. The LLM service crafts a prompt including the bot's persona and the ongoing conversation
  7. The prompt is sent to the chosen LLM provider (OpenAI or Claude)
  8. The LLM provider streams responses through pubsub back to the LLM service
  9. The LLM service parses the responses and relays them back to the chat service
  10. The chat service delivers the bot's witty (or not-so-witty) responses to the appropriate chat integration

Integrating Your LLMs

LLMs are the heart and soul of your bots, providing the intelligence and personality that make them shine. This application is built to make it easy to integrate with popular LLM providers, and it comes pre-configured to work with OpenAI and Anthropic. The only thing you need to do is set your credentials as Encore secrets, and you're ready to start generating bots with your chosen LLM provider.

Adding OpenAI Credentials

To enable OpenAI as an LLM provider, you'll need to set your OpenAI API key as an Encore secret. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Get Your OpenAI API Key:
  1. Add Your API Key as an Encore Secret:
encore secret set OpenAIKey --type dev,local,pr,prod
  1. Generate Bots: All done! You can now generate bots with OpenAI as the LLM, just call the bot.Create endpoint with openai as the provider.

Adding Anthropic Credentials

To enable Claude as an LLM provider, you'll need to set your Anthropic key as an Encore secret. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Generate an Anthropic Key:
  • Head over to the Anthropic API Keys.
  • Click Create Key and give your key a fancy name
  • Copy the generated key

2Add Key as an Encore Secret:

encore secret set --type dev,local,pr,prod ClaudeKey

3Generate Bots: All done! You can now generate bots with Claude as the LLM, just call the bot.Create endpoint with claude as the provider.

Integrating your Chat Platforms

The application is designed to make it easy to integrate with any chat platform, but it comes pre-configured to work with Slack.

Configuring Slack

To be able to use Slack as a chat platform, you'll need to create a Slack app and add it to your workspace. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Create the Encore App:
  • Complete the steps in the Getting Started section to create your Encore app.
  1. Create a Slack App:
  • Visit and click Create New App.
  • Choose From an app manifest and click Next.
  • Pick the workspace for your bot and click Next.
  • Copy the bot manifest and paste it into the text box.
  • Replace the <bot-domain> placeholder with either <env-name>-<app-name>-<slug> (e.g. or the ngrok domain you configured for local development
  • Click Next and then Create.
  1. Activate Bot Events:
  • On the bot settings page, click Event Subscriptions.
  • Start the Encore app.
  • If the Request URL is yellow, click on Retry.
  1. Install the App to Your Workspace:
  • On the settings page, click OAuth & Permissions and then Install to Workspace.
  • Select a channel for your bot and click Allow.
  1. Add the Slack Bot Token:
  • Copy the Bot User OAuth Token from the OAuth & Permissions page.
  • Add it as an Encore secret:
encore secret set SlackToken --type dev,local,pr,prod
  1. Create Your Chat Bots

Create Your Chat Bots

The Slack integration does not come with a custom-made UI for adding bots to channels. Until you've built your own UI (or maybe addded support for slash commands?), you can use the Encore Dashboards to add bots to channels:

  1. Open the Service Catalog
  1. Create a Bot Profile:
  • Select the bot.Create endpoint.
  • Give your bot a name, an engaging prompt, and enter openai as the LLM.
  • Click Call API.
  • Copy the bot ID in the response.
  1. Find a Chat Channel ID:
  • Select the chat.ListChannels.
  • Click Call API.
  • Copy the id of the channel you want your bot to join.
  1. Add the Bot to a Channel:
  • Select the chat.AddBotToChannel endpoint.
  • Enter the bot ID and the channel ID.
  • Click Call API.
  1. Verify Your Bot:
  • Check your Slack channel; your bot should now be present and ready to chat!

You've successfully integrated your chat platforms and LLMs, ready to unleash your AI-powered conversationalists! Now go forth and create bots that will make people laugh, think, or maybe even question the nature of reality (but no pressure!).

Deploy to the Cloud

Ready to share your bots with the world? Encore makes deploying to a free testing environment a breeze:

git add . git commit -m "Deploying my awesome bots!" git push

The push command will trigger a deployment to the Encore cloud and share a link to the deployment job.

Encore deployment overview

Once the deployment is complete, click Overview and copy the URL to see your bots in action on the web!

Encore deployment overview


Configuring Ngrok

If you're developing locally and want to connect to external services like Slack, you'll need to use a service like ngrok to create a secure tunnel to your local development server. This app is pre-configured to work with ngrok, so you can easily test your bots on Slack without deploying them to the cloud.

  1. Create a Ngrok Account
  1. Add Tunnel Authtoken
  • Log in to your ngrok account and click on Authtokens.
  • Click Add Tunnel Authtoken.
  • Copy the token and add it as an Encore secret:
encore secret set NGrokToken --type dev,local,pr,prod
  1. Create a Custom Ngrok Domain
  • Navigate to Domains -> New Domain in your ngrok dashboard.
  • Create a memorable domain name.
  • Copy the domain name and add it as another Encore secret:
encore secret set NGrokDomain --type dev,local,pr,prod
  1. Update Your Apps (If Needed)
  • For some integrations (like Slack), you'll need to update the Slack app to use your ngrok domain.

Updating the Local Chat Web Interface

The local chat service uses a web interface to interact with the chat service. If you want to make changes to the interface, you'll need to rebuild it before you deploy your changes.

  1. Install npm*
brew install npm
  1. Install Dependencies
  • Navigate to the chat/provider/local/static directory and run:
npm install
  1. Build the Interface
  • Run the following command to build the web interface:
npm run build
  1. Start the Interface
  • Start the local chat service and open the interface in your browser:
encore run
  1. Start the Interface in Dev Mode
  • Alternatively, you can start the interface in development mode to get hot reloading and other goodies:
npm run dev
  • You still need to start the local chat service with encore run.