Introduction to Chat Bot

Introduction

Chat bot is not a new thing to most of the people on the planet, people often discuss about it. After the concept of CaaP (Conversation as a Platform) was proposed at Microsoft’s 2016 build conference, the Microsoft Bot Framework was being launched shortly after and it has been well-known for its ease-to-setup since then.

Today, let’s go from basic. We will be discussing several points about chat bot at below:

  • What is Chat Bot?
  • Why Chat Bot?
  • What is Conversation as a Platform?

What is Chat Bot?

To put it simply, chat bot is a program that interacts with users in the form of text, voice, and images. So, chat tools (such as Line, Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc.) allow you to interact to a program (chat bot) instead of a person.

Why Chat Bot?

The conveniences that chat bot can bring impressed me, like handling FAQ, taking orders, providing more human-like customer service experience. What more, Microsoft Bot Framework actually provides developer-friendly environment to give a kick start.

It does provide a conversational UI and UX that people can adapt quickly. Imagine, you are just talking to another person on chatting app, like Skype, Facebook, Telegram. Chat bot is just your another friend!

What is Conversation as a Platform?

Conversation as a Platform(CaaP) is certainly the big topic today, whether you are developing a website or an app, it is a starting point of interaction process using messages. For example, the voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, is to understand the instructions and then interacts by using the voice messages.

So, let me say a word vs. I am looking for a menu and then want the function, which interaction type is more convenient? Definitely is using voice command to say a word. So CaaP is one of the way to build it.

Talking about this historical evolution, in Mainland China, they start to promote the interaction using mobile app. But this also raised a problem. How to understand these different formats of information through message processing? Through text, voice, and pictures?

This is where the Artificial Intelligence (AI) enters, it builds model to solve the problem and hosted as a service so developer can use integrate the functionalities into their application easily. Azure’s Cognitive Service is an AI service that allows you to do so.

Therefore, we make it easy to operate CaaP through these AI services. Moving forward, we will be discussing more on how to implement chat bot or other kinds of AI services to cater different scenarios.

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