April 14, 2020 |
What are the best open source platforms to build a Chatbot?

A chatbot typically powered by artificial intelligence software that can simulate a real human chat with real-time replies to users based on reinforced learning. Artificial Intelligence Chatbots either use text messages, voice instructions, or both. AI robots can be addressed as chatbots, IM bot, etc. Chatbots are a method of communicating with computers through chat platforms by users. They are evolving from simple ping-pong style communications towards real-time conversations and several big brands or small startups in the industry have already adopted this technology to interact with the users.

How can you build chatbots?

Let’s find out how to build chatbots, you simply need to visit any platform that allows them. Messenger, Kik, and Telegram all provide information and tools for developers.

Small businesses may prefer to save time and engage a bot-building service such as wit.ai, which is owned by Facebook.

 

How can they benefit your business small?

Consider some of the benefits for small businesses-

Firstly, they enhance services and Customers interact with chatbots as they would with human representatives to get real-time responses, but they’re cheaper and more efficient. 

Secondly, chatbots can engage in complex conversations. According to the Co-founder of Microsoft “Bill Gates”, chatbots could be used in education, teaching even the toughest subjects. However, these conversational abilities have a range of use cases far beyond education.

While chatbots primarily communicate in text, they also employ rich content such as images. This is worthy as it means businesses can showcase products. They also have access to huge audiences. Moreover, for those businesses that don’t engage in customer service can get a boost. Develop chatbots to take care of processes like scheduling and save on hiring assistants.

 

What Do You Want the Chatbot to Do?

If you want your chatbot to be more responsive then by infusing the intelligence program you can design your chatbot is just to respond to queries with a fixed set of responses via text or voice, it acts as a representative of a set amount of information from the user and responds with a valid predefined answer that adheres to a business model.

The type of intelligent form of a chatbot is programmed to interpret what the user is requesting and does the task in real-time based on progressive self-learning and this is called Helper chatbot. It also helps users to make reservations,  purchase products, get information, many more.

On the other hand, the collector bot can be made more intelligent by enhancing its response presentation skills that are based on the information that it has collected. 

 

Top 5 Chatbot Platforms to Develop Bots 

With this blog we will explore the major bot platforms and how can they be used to create a chatbot suitable for your needs. There are numerous chatbot platforms to choose from which makes it difficult for businesses to decide. Today, chatbots can take care of many manual tasks like managing calendars, making reservations, booking tickets, buying products, food orders, etc and with smart homes and voice assistants (like Amazon Alexa and Google Home) build-up market trend, bots will soon be able to perform a lot more actions.

The advantages of speed, transparency, and control allow developers to create better chatbots and increase their understanding of the software platforms they are using.

 

Microsoft Bot Framework:

Microsoft Bot Framework offers an open-source platform for building chatbots. MBF is an initiative backed by Microsoft and its approach is primarily code-driven and aimed solely at developers. It also offers an enormous number of tools to serve the process of chatbot building and the software is built to facilitate integration with Luis, its NLU engine.

A disadvantage of the NLU engine is not being open-source that it cannot be installed on-prem. This again is obvious from Microsoft as the MBF and Luis are products built-in part to promote the use of its Azure platform. 

 

Microsoft recently released the composer to make it easier to maintain the chatbot using an interface. Microsoft Bot Framework has two major components Bot Builder SDK and Microsoft Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS). The Botbuilder is a development SDK that supports .NET and Node.js and is open source and is available on GitHub. Currently, it supports 30 languages and features automated translation.

 

Omni-Channel and Multilingual

Build once and deploy anywhere anytime just you need to make sure that you can connect with users via chatbots. You should look for chatbot development companies that can deploy bots anywhere for websites, mobile apps, Facebook messenger, SMS, etc. You can personalize it according to the platform, good chatbots can interact with even corporate tools like Skype, Slack, etc. But, there is yet another consideration to training the chatbot to interact in multiple languages.

A chatbot with Natural Language Processing and speech support provides authentic interactions using text medium or voice medium. It helps the chatbot to better understand user intent and response with relevant content after proper assessment. The scalability of your chatbot will depend on whether you’ve incorporated Natural Language Processing training or not.

 

Dialogflow

Dialogflow is powered by Google’s machine learning, which can be used to connect to users on Amazon Alexa, Mobile apps, Google Assistant,   Slack, Twitter, and more. Dialogflow is a perfect chatbot creation platform for intent-based chatbots. Built text or voice-based conversational interfaces for your bots. Dialogflow uses information like examples, contexts, etc. to match the user questions to a suitable intent. It comes with a training module that tracks user’s requests and shows the administrator how it matched them to the intent then delivers the output as a JSON response object which based on the actionable data in the query text. The admin can correct issues if any, and the machine retrains itself accordingly. It comes with a free license and enterprise edition. It currently has SDKs for Android, Xamarin, HTML, JavaScript, iOS, Cordova, Unity, Botkit, Python, Ruby, PHP, etc. Dialogflow is user-friendly, supports 20+ languages, and probably the best framework to develop NLP based applications. One disadvantage with Dialog flow is that it doesn’t allow you to host your instance of your agent thus, it is not secure for some enterprise-level applications.

 

IBM Watson

IBM Watson is built on a neural network of one billion Wikipedia words. The Watson Virtual Assistant that comes with the platform can be used to answer spontaneous user queries. Watson Assistant helps you to build a chatbot for your business quickly and uses machine learning to respond to natural language input on platforms like mobile devices, websites, robots, and messenger apps. IBM Watson is the most popular customized chatbot builder platform. According to research by Mindbowser in association with Chatbots Journal, it is the go-to platform for 61% of businesses in the industry. 

Watson provides Software Development Kits for Node.Js, Java, Python, iOS, and Unity. It is easy to start development and allows us to deploy bots on messenger apps, mobile devices, and even robots. 

 

Botpress

Botpress open-sources their conversational AI platform and their Natural Language Understanding libraries. It’s built on the paradigm that chatbots can be built using visual flows and small amounts of training data in the form of intents, entities and slots definition. This vastly reduces the cost of developing chatbots and it decreases the barrier to entry sometimes created by data requirements.

Botpress has a visual conversation builder and an emulator to test your conversations. The built-in javascript code editor allows you to code actions that can be used to perform tasks. The NLU module lets you define intents, entities, slots. This is how your conversational assistant understands the user inputs. The platform is built primarily for developers who need an open system and maximum control in mind. It’s also really easy for a conversation designer to take over and collaborate with a developer on the project, thanks to the visual conversation builder.

Botpress is really allowing different specialists to put their knowledge together into building better conversational assistants. Essentially improving the capabilities of machines to understand humans. Botpress is an open-source platform and based on a modular architecture. Some of the features are:

  • Editor – flexible flow management system
  • Natural language understanding
  • Actionable analytics
  • Multi-channel – use your bot on all significant platforms like Skype, SMS, Wechat, etc

With the help of Botpress, you can build your chatbot locally and deploy to your favorite cloud hosting.

 

Conclusion

Before deciding the chatbot platform you should understand how you plan on using it and what are the functionalities required for that. One of the great advantages of open-source is that you can experiment with the product before you make a decision.  

While some companies have listed different use cases for their platform, it’s not always the case. We highly recommend heading to the forum of the different products and search for what you want to build. Chances are, someone else is doing it too. If not, ask questions.

A summary is not enough information for you to make a decision, but it’s a great starting point to perhaps eliminate some of the contenders and understand what are the strengths and weaknesses of them. I hope the above-listed Chatbot platforms help you to choose the perfect chatbot platform for your business. 

 

You can also contact us to build and deploy your chatbot.

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