I'm an avid lurker on reddit and one thing that fascinates me about the site is all the bots. In some ways they seem to keep things running. Such as the countless Moderator bots for automating tasks. There must be at least a small percentage of bots for each of the endless subreddits out there. There's no way humans could keep up with that. There are also tons of user made bots you'll see pop up for a day or two until they get banned from your favorite subreddits. There are also a few that have their own subreddit; r/colorizebot has to be one of my favorites. It will take a black and white picture you feed it and colorize it for you. I find this sort of thing fascinating and wanted to make my own reddit bot. I already know a bit of python and that is the recommended starting point for most reddit bot projects.

I started with PRAW, the Python Reddit API Wrapper and went from there. I was able to scrape reddit for daily top posts. Get user info from the posts and whatever else came with it.

Then I tacked on ChatterBot and this quickly evolved into a simple, artificially intelligent bot with a storage database in the back end for trying to make sense out of reddit comment strings. Then made that work on multiple platforms including gitter, twitter, hipchat, and reddit. At the time of this writing, the plan is to have it check into Reddit on a daily basis and scrape strings of comments from r/all in way that resembles a conversation. Right now this training process has to be run manually. Everything since that time Edward has learned from twitter DM. Check out this bit of code to get an idea of what the reddit, twitter, and other training modules are doing.

Reddit training goes like this:

  • training list starts as an empty list []
  • reach into www.reddit.com/r/all/
    • for every submission collect comment chains
      • for every comment in comment chains collect all replies
        • if the comment is not '[deleted]'
        • if reply is not '[removed]'
        • if reply is less than 80 characters
        • append training list
    • Train the bot

The output looks like this.

2018-01-11 06:10:36.540 INFO edward - reddit_training: Training: ['They might be cut proof but are they electricity proof?', '\n\nI mean, they are steel wool, so I doubt it', 'Stick your finger in a socket and report back', 'They are indeed, but theyre having trouble proofing it', 'ight!? Unscrewing that lightbulb had me terrified!']
2018-01-11 06:10:36.540 INFO edward - reddit_training: --------------------------------------------
List Trainer: [####################] 100%
2018-01-11 06:10:55.894 INFO edward - reddit_training: Training: ['The ones that are really expensive are. That’s why they’re expensive. ', 'Thanks John Madden.', "If things were any other way, they'd be different.", "So you're saying mithril *exists*?\n", 'NotKenM ?', 'you can tell by the way they are']
2018-01-11 06:10:55.894 INFO edward - reddit_training: --------------------------------------------
List Trainer: [####################] 100%
2018-01-11 06:10:57.408 INFO edward - reddit_training: Training: ['Sharp knife.', 'But not sharp enough to cut their hand...', 'Also probably has the do with the ripeness of the tomato.', 'it was a better knife commercial than glove commercial', 'The knife even shines up in the gif right before they cut the tomato 😂']
2018-01-11 06:10:57.408 INFO edward - reddit_training: --------------------------------------------
List Trainer: [####################] 100%
2018-01-11 06:11:00.432 INFO edward - reddit_training: Training: ['Thanks John Madden.', 'Their victories were all against their opponents!', 'aeiou', "But how's the price?", 'When you get a guy who can throw a ball, you call him a quarterback!', 'How is he not dead yet? ', "Somehow I've never realized that until this exact moment.", 'You can tell  because of the way it is']
2018-01-11 06:11:00.432 INFO edward - reddit_training: --------------------------------------------

After that, I was able to made it work on Twitter using the tweepy module.
Check out how I was able to auto-follow followers using multiprocess and sleep here.

End result being a bot that I can talk to and train from multiple platforms. Seems like a great idea on paper. He's been live for quite a while now and is still dumb as shit, but it's not his fault. I just haven't had the time to think of better and faster ways of training him. For a moment I thought I would have it talk to other robots online to advance his speech, but the few that I looked into end up charging you if you want to use it more than just a few times or would just lock you out.

Make locally

Download the source code and run the following to make this in your local swarm

git clone https://github.com/jahrik/edward.git

cd edward

Be sure to populate any needed environment variables.

# reddit

# twitter
export TWITTER_KEY=''

# hipchat
export HIPCHAT_HOST=https://api.hipchat.com/

# gitter
export GITTER_ROOM=''

# facebook

Run make to build your docker container

Sending build context to Docker daemon  263.8MB
Step 1/11 : FROM python:3.7.0a1-stretch
3.7.0a1-stretch: Pulling from library/python
3e17c6eae66c: Pull complete
74d44b20f851: Pull complete
a156217f3fa4: Pull complete
4a1ed13b6faa: Pull complete
c6defea3d225: Extracting [==================================================>]  212.8MB/212.8MB
Collecting wrapt==1.10.11 (from -r requirements.txt (line 32))
  Downloading wrapt-1.10.11.tar.gz
Collecting tweepy==3.5.0 (from -r requirements.txt (line 33))
  Downloading tweepy-3.5.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Step 11/11 : CMD ["python3","edward.py","-b","twitter"]
 ---> Running in 86f85cde3ffb
Removing intermediate container 86f85cde3ffb
 ---> 745359ea9dd7
Successfully built 745359ea9dd7
Successfully tagged jahrik/bot:0.1.1
Successfully tagged jahrik/bot:latest

Deploy to docker swarm

It is hosted on Docker swarm using a compose v3 yml file and runs as multiple services that will automatically restart on failure and allows for individual containers for each given service running; twitter, hipchat, gitter, mongo. Check it out here docker-stack.yml

version: '3'


    image: jahrik/bot:latest
      - mongo
    command: python3 edward.py -b twitter

    image: jahrik/bot:latest
      - mongo
    command: python3 edward.py -b hipchat

    image: jahrik/bot:latest
      - mongo
    command: python3 edward.py -b gitter

    image: mongo:latest
      - MONGO_DATA_DIR=/data/db
      # - MONGO_LOG_DIR=/dev/null
      - ./data/db:/data/db
      - 27017:27017
    command: mongod

You can run this deployment with docker stack deploy -c stack.yml bot or use the Makefile provided
Running make deploy will also run docker build first again.

make deploy
Sending build context to Docker daemon  263.8MB
Step 1/11 : FROM python:3.7.0a1-stretch
 ---> 3f04e51f06a1
Step 10/11 : RUN pip install -r requirements.txt
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 1e4c2f05fad3
Step 11/11 : CMD ["python3","edward.py","-b","twitter"]
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 745359ea9dd7
Successfully built 745359ea9dd7
Successfully tagged jahrik/bot:0.1.1
Successfully tagged jahrik/bot:latest
Creating network edward_default
Creating service edward_mongo
Creating service edward_twitter_bot
Creating service edward_hipchat_bot
Creating service edward_gitter_bot

Check these running services

docker service ls
ID                  NAME                 MODE                REPLICAS            IMAGE               PORTS
uhupkuwb8i9m        edward_gitter_bot    replicated          1/1                 jahrik/bot:latest
ksq2svnphp70        edward_hipchat_bot   replicated          1/1                 jahrik/bot:latest
b93o23brati8        edward_mongo         replicated          0/1                 mongo:latest        *:27017->27017/tcp
re1zn2n3n9ff        edward_twitter_bot   replicated          1/1                 jahrik/bot:latest

Check and see what the hell mongo is doing

docker service logs -f edward_mongo

Alternatively you can run this with docker compose with

make test

And to bring the whole thing down for both run

make destroy

PRAW and Chatterbot meet tweepy

  • Source code on github
  • Follow edward on twitter
  • He should follow you back
  • Private message him to see what he has scraped from reddit r/all

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/jahrik/edward