How to Develop AI-Driven Personal Assistants Tailored to Automotive Needs. Part 1


near 11 min of reading

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere – my laundry dryer is “powered by AI” (whatever it means), and I suppose there are some fridges on the market that take photos of their content to send you a shopping list and maybe even propose a recipe for your next dinner basing on the food you have. Some people say that generative AI and large language models (LLMs) are the most important inventions since the Internet, and we observe the beginning of the next industrial revolution.

However, household appliances and the newest history deliberation are not in our sphere of interest. The article about AI-based tools to support developers is getting old quickly due to the extremely fast development of new tools and their capabilities. But what can we, software makers, propose to our customers to keep up with the world changing?

Let’s talk about chatbots. Today, we try to break down an AI-driven personal assistants topic for the automotive industry. First, to create a chatbot, we need a language model.

The best-known LLM is currently OpenAI GPT4 that powers ChatGPT and thousands of different tools and applications, including a very powerful, widely available Microsoft Copilot. Of course, there are more similar models: Anthropic Claude with a huge context window, recently updated Google Bard, available for self-hosting Llama, code-completion tailored Tabnine, etc.

Some of them can give you a human-like conversation experience, especially combined with voice recognition and text-to-speech models – they are smart, advanced, interactive, helpful, and versatile. Is it enough to offer an AI-driven personal assistant for your automotive customers?

Well, as usual, it depends.

What is a “chatbot”?

The first step is to identify end-users and match their requirements with the toolkit possibilities. Let’s start with the latter point.

We’re going to implement a text-generating tool, so in this article, we don’t consider graphics, music, video, and all other generation models. We need a large language model that “understands” a natural language (or more languages) prompts and generates natural language answers (so-called “completions”).

Besides that, the model needs to operate on the domain knowledge depending on the use case. Hypothetically, it’s possible to create such a model from scratch, using general resources, like open-licensed books (to teach it the language) and your company resources (to teach it the domain), but the process is complex, very expensive in all dimensions (people, money, hardware, power, time, etc.) and at the end of the day – unpredictable.

Therefore, we’re going to use a general-purpose model. Some models (like gpt-4-0613) are available for fine-tuning – a process of tailoring the model to better understand a domain. It may be required for your use case, but again, the process may be expensive and challenging, so I propose giving a shot at a “standard” model first.

Because of the built-in function calling functionality and low price with a large context window, in this article, we use gpt-4-turbo. Moreover, you can have your own Azure-hosted instance of it, which is almost certainly significant to your customer privacy policy. Of course, you can achieve the same with some extra prompt engineering with other models, too.

OK, what kind of AI-driven personal assistant do you want? We can distinguish three main concepts: general chatbot, knowledge-based one, and one allowed to execute actions for a user.

AI-driven personal assistants

Your first chatbot

Let’s start with the implementation of a simple bot – to talk about everything except the newest history.

As I’ve mentioned, it’s often required not to use the OpenAI API, but rather its own cloud-hosted model instance. To deploy one, you need an Azure account. Go to, create a new resource, and select “Azure OpenAI”. Then go to your new resource, select “Keys and endpoints” from the left menu, and copy the endpoint URL together with one of the API keys. The endpoint should look like this one:

Now, you create a model. Go to “Model deployments” and click the “Manage deployments” button. A new page appears where you can create a new instance of the gpt-4 model. Please note that if you want to use the gpt-4-turbo model, you need to select the 1106 model version which is not available in all regions yet. Check this page to verify availability across regions.

Now, you have your own GPT model instance. According to Azure’s privacy policy, the model is stateless, and all your data is safe, but please read the “Preventing abuse and harmful content generation” and “How can customers get an exemption from abuse monitoring and human review?” sections of the policy document very carefully before continuing with sensitive data.

Let’s call the model!

curl --location' \
--header 'api-key: your-api-key \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data '{
    "messages": [
            "role": "user",
            "content": "Hello!"

The response should be like the following one.

    "id": "chatcmpl-XXX",
    "object": "chat.completion",
    "created": 1706991030,
    "model": "gpt-4",
    "choices": [
            "finish_reason": "stop",
            "index": 0,
            "message": {
                "role": "assistant",
                "content": "Hello! How can I assist you today?"
    "usage": {
        "prompt_tokens": 9,
        "completion_tokens": 9,
        "total_tokens": 18

Generally speaking, we’re done! You are making a conversation with your own chatbot. See the official documentation for a comprehensive API reference. Note that 2023-05-15 is the latest stable version of the API when I’m writing this text – you can use a newer preview version, or maybe there is a newer stable version already available.

However, using cURL is not the best user experience. Most tutorials propose using Python to develop your own LLM-based application. It’s a good advice to follow – Python is simple, offers SDKs for most generative AI models, and Langchain – one library to rule them all. However, our target application will handle more enterprise logic and microservices integration than LLM API integration, so choosing a programming language based only on this criterion may result in a very painful misusage in the end.

At this stage, I’ll show you an example of a simple chatbot application using Azure OpenAI SDK in two languages: Python and Java. Make your decision based on your language knowledge and more complex examples from the following parts of the article.

The Python one goes first.

from openai import AzureOpenAI

client = AzureOpenAI(
    azure_endpoint= ‘'

chat_completion =
    model=" name-of-your-deployment ",
        {"role": "user", "content": "Hello!"}


Here is the same in Java:

package demo;


import java.util.List;

class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        var openAIClient = new OpenAIClientBuilder()
                .credential(new AzureKeyCredential("your-api-key"))
                .endpoint(" ")
        var chatCompletionsOptions = new ChatCompletionsOptions(List.of(new ChatRequestUserMessage("Hello!")));
        System.out.println(openAIClient.getChatCompletions("name-of-your-deployment", chatCompletionsOptions)

One of the above applications will be a base for all you’ll build with this article.

User interface and session history

We’ve learnt how to send a prompt and read a completion. As you can see, we send a list of messages with a request. Unfortunately, the LLM’s API is stateless, so we need to send an entire conversation history with each request. For example, the second prompt, “How are you?”, in Python looks like that.

        {"role": "user", "content": "Hello!"},
        {"role": "assistant", "content": "How can I help you"},
        {"role": "user", "content": "How are you?"}

Therefore, we need to maintain the conversation history in our application, which brings us back to the user journey identification, starting with the user interface.

The protocol

The easy way is to create a web application with REST. The conversation history is probably shown on the page all the time, so it’s easy to send the entire history with each request from the frontend to the backend, and then from the backend to the LLM. On the other hand, you still need to add some system prompts to the conversation (we’ll discuss system prompts later) and sending a long conversation over the internet twice is a waste of resources. Moreover, LLMs may be slow, so you can easily hit a timeout for popular REST gateways, and REST offers just a single response for each request.

Because of the above, you may consider using an asynchronous communication channel: WebSocket or Server-Side Events. SSE is a one-way communication channel only, so the frontend still needs to send messages via the REST endpoint and may receive answers asynchronously. This way, you can also send more responses for each user query – for example, you can send “Dear user, we’re working hard to answer your question” before the real response comes from the LLM. If you don’t want to configure two communication channels (REST and SSE), go with WebSocket.

“I wish to know that earlier” advice: Check libraries availability for your target environment. For example, popular Swift libraries for WebSocket don’t support SockJS and require some extra effort to keep the connection alive.

Another use case is based on communicators integration. All companies use some communicators nowadays, and both Slack and Teams SDKs are available in many languages and offer asynchronous messaging. You can react to mentions, read entire channels, or welcome new members. However, some extra functionalities may be kind of limited.

Slack SDK doesn’t support “bot is typing” indicators, and Teams offers reading audio and video streams during meetings only for C# SDK. You should undeniably verify all the features you need availability before starting the integration. You need to consider all permissions you’ll need in your customer infrastructure to set up such a chatbot too.

The state

Regardless of what your frontend and communication channel are, you need to retain the history of the conversation. In a single-server environment, the job is easy – you can create a session-scope storage, perhaps a session-key dictionary, or a session Spring bean that stores the conversation. It’s even easier with both WebSocket and SSE because if the server keeps a session open, the session is sticky, and it should pass through any modern load balancer.

However, both WebSocket and SSE can easily scale up in your infrastructure but may break connections when scaling down – when a node that keeps the channel is terminated, the conversation is gone. Therefore, you may consider persistent storage: a database or a distributed cache.

Speech-to-text and text-to-speech

Another piece of our puzzle is the voice interface. It’s important for applications for drivers but also for mechanics who often can’t operate computers with busy (or dirty) hands.

For mobile devices, the task is easy – both iOS and Android offer built-in speech-to-text recognition and text-to-speech generation as a part of accessibility mechanisms, so you can use them via systems’ APIs. Those methods are fast and work on end devices, however their quality is discussable, especially in non-English environments.

The alternative is to use generative AI models. I haven’t conducted credible, trustworthy research in this area, but I can recommend OpenAI Whisper for speech-to-text and Eleven Labs for text-to-speech. Whisper works great in noisy environments (like a car riding on an old pavement), and it can be self-hosted if needed (but the cloud-hosted variant usually works faster). Eleven Labs allows you to control the emotions and delivery of the speaker. Both work great with many languages.

On the other hand, using server-side voice processing (recognition and generation) extends response time and overall processing cost. If you want to follow this way, consider models that can work on streams – for example, to generate voice at the same time when your backend receives the LLM response token-by-token instead of waiting for the entire message to convert.

Additionally, you can consider using AI talking avatars like Synthesia, but it will significantly increase your cost and response time, so I don’t recommend it for real-time conversation tools.

Follow up

This text covers just a basic tutorial on how to create bots. Now you know how to host a model, how to call it in three ways and what to consider when designing a communication protocol. In following parts of the article series, we’ll add some domain knowledge to the created AI-driven personal assistant and teach it to execute real operations. At the end, we’ll try to summarize the knowledge with a hybrid solution, we’ll look for the technology weaknesses and work on the product optimization.

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