Apr

CHATBOT PLATFORMS. How to choose the right one?

   
Chatbot platforms are essential tools if you need to build and run a chatbot.
There are many available on the market, big and small, popular and not so much.

Here are some useful thoughts that should help you navigate the complex world of chatbots and conversational AI solutions.

All chatbot platforms can be split into two categories: those that let you create chatbots without any programming, and those that require programming. Now, the idea that you don’t need to possess technical knowledge to build a chatbot seems appealing but the reality is not so rosy. In fact, I have yet to see a professional chatbot created without coding.
Chatbots rely on sophisticated algorithms and advanced knowledge of linguistics. These technologies are so complex that at the moment there are no plug-and-play solutions available. The companies like Chatfuel, Manychat, Flow XO and many others are attempting to fill that void and offer chatbot platforms that are simple in use. The best way to make the chatbot creation simpler is by dropping the need to code them. However this simplicity comes at a price: chatbots made without coding are limited, rigid and in general, primitive.
So to summarize: if you want to impress your girlfriend use Chatfuel. If you need a professional chatbot that delivers on your business goals and provides customer satisfaction use advanced chatbot platforms with programming capabilities.

One of the main, if not the main, tasks of the chatbot platforms is to connect your chatbot to the user interfaces. There are many ways for your chatbot to interface with the world: on Facebook messenger, on the website, on the mobile app, via SMS, on Twitter , on Skype, on Slack, on Telegram, and more. A good chatbot platform should seamlessly connect the chatbot to most of these channels. Chatbot platforms do not make your chatbot smarter. For this you need AI Engines (brief disucssion on AI Engines: http://nmodes.com/entry/2018/03/29/what-are-ai-engines-and-how-choose-one/).

For best results create your chatbot on a chatbot platform, then connect it to AI engine.

One of the top chatbot platforms on the market is Microsoft Bot Framework. It is robust, powerful, with a wide variety of useful functionality built-in. Another good chatbot platform is DialogFlow. DialogFlow has a slightly different architecture in the sense that it is a chatbot platform and an AI Engine all in one interface.

Chatbot platforms can be used to create conversation flow for your chatbot. There are several schools of thought here: some prefer to delegate conversation flow to AI engines. Chatfuel and other tools with the emphasis on simplicity (build your chatbot in minutes, no coding necessary) offer easy graphical interfaces for conversation flow creation. And there is always a reliable option to create conversation flow in an old-fashioned way, programmatically.

Which option to choose? Depends on your chatbot requirements and the business needs the chatbot is expected to address.And if you have questions feel free to ask: http://http://nmodes.com/contact-us/

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

OUR AWESOME CHATBOT FEATURES

NMODES chatbots and conversational AI solutions come with a unique set of features.

Our goal is to make it easy for businesses to create and manage chatbots. The features we offer are important for successful implementation of a chatbot not only because they significantly improve its quality, but they also allow you to edit your chatbot in natural language, without any need to have technical knowledge or AI specialist in the team. 

1. Free AI Training 

Our chatbot solutions come with free AI training for life.

We will train your chatbot and continue to enhance it indefinitely.
It is our responsibility to ensure that your chatbot has the updated natural language processing capabilities. It is also our responsibility to guarantee that it understands not only common language but also language that is specific to your business, such as names of the products, terminology used in your industry, inventory list, and more. 

Your chatbot will be interacting with the customers all the time. We will enable it to learn from these interactions continuously and improve its language understanding and responses as a result of this learning.

2. Editing in natural language 

We realize that AI is a complex body of knowledge and one of your biggest concerns is that you are not familiar with it well enough. We made sure that you don’t need to be technically savvy to successfully manage a chatbot. Using our simple and friendly online interface you can control your chatbot in real time using common natural language. No technical knowledge is required.

At NMODES we continuously improve our AI capabilities. We use our AI not only to make the experience of your customers, conversing with your chatbot, better, but also to make your own experience, conversing with our platform, better.

Eventually the platform will be able to interact with you fully in natural language. We are not entirely there yet (it is an immense task). Still, we hold true to our promise that there is no need in being technically savvy to operate our platform even today. When the platform does not understand natural language our highly trained specialists are always ready to take over and provide support.


3. Real time connectivity 

Often there is a need for chatbot to access structured data (such as inventory database) to answer customer’s question. We made it easy for your chatbot to create external queries in real time and modify the responses accordingly. Your chatbot is able to decide in the middle of the conversation, based on the information it received from your database, how to respond and how to proceed with the conversation.

These are the most exciting among the features we created so that our customers have easy and enjoyable chatbot experiences. But there are other features available: conversational templates, dynamic AI Engines clustering, multiple widget skins and more! Let us know if want to see the full list of features.

To learn about the core technologies required to build a chatbot check out this post:

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AI unmasked: Have chatbots failed?

It is becoming increasingly popular to say that chatbots have failed and are overhyped.

While it is true that in many cases expectations from chatbots significantly exceed the results on the ground, the anticipation of chatbots’ demise are somewhat premature. 

One of the main problems for chatbots is that the market is inundated with low quality solution providers who deliver low quality results. This happened because conversational AI seems to have low entry barriers. Unlike other recent technological darlings such as space technology or renewable energy, conversational AI is purely software and therefore does not require vast sums of initial investment. 

What this approach is missing however,  is that conversational AI, in addition to being a software, also requires an accurate understanding of how language works. And there is a limited number of people in the world that do have such understanding.

When conversational AI is delivered by AI experts who understand the way human language works, the results are good and convincing, just as how you would expect them to be.

Suffering from unsatisfactory product quality is a common problem for many new and emerging industries.  The rules of the market dictate that most of the low quality players will eventually disappear. Poorly created chatbots will therefore not be around for too long.

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