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Hackernoon logoIntroduction to Chatbot Development by@himanshu99

Introduction to Chatbot Development

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@himanshu99Himanshu Maggu

Now-a- Days chatbots are playing an essential role in the day to day activities of humans {personals and organizations}. According to the survey done, 27% of the people are using the AI-powered chatbots such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Apple Siri etc. for simple task or commands.

A chatbot can work for the company based on training provided to it and increase the efficiency of the work. Several supporting technologies help the chatbot to work as a real assistant. E.g. NLP, AI and IoT supported tools and applications are working as a backbone for the chatbot.

Keywords:

  • NLP(Natural Language Processing),
  • IoT(Internet of Things),
  • AI(Artificial Intelligence).

What Are Chatbots?

A chatbot is an independent entity that provides administrative services to the users and technical and social assistance to the clients. It can work in various modes like secretarial work, customer service support, marketing on social media, as well as can do the web editing task for a particular site or app. For making business plans, setting reminders, planning events, attending calls; these chatbots are used. Before moving forward, let’s know what types of chatbots are there in the market and which one best for you or your business.

Types of Chatbots:

The chatbots are of two types:

  • Rule-Based Chatbots
  • AI-powered Chatbots

Rule-Based Chatbots

As the name suggests, they work on some predefined set of rules or statements defined for a particular kind of problem. In this kind of bots, conversations map out to envision what a client may ask and how the chatbot ought to react. They even can’t answer the question outside their scope, i.e. outside the predefined set of rules. They do not learn from the history of conversations. They work for the situations only for what they are drawn up. These kinds of chatbots are faster as compare to AI-Powered chatbots.

These bots are used as an FAQ resource, used when there are a few conversations to feed — basically used by small companies and organizations.

AI-Powered Chatbots

Unlike rule-based chatbots, they use machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand the user queries and then finally map that with the most appropriate response. In this kind of bots, conversations map out to envision whatever a client asks, and the chatbot ought to react. They even answer the question outside their scope using context.

We’ll study more about the context in the coming chapter named Intent Identification. We prepare a model at the time of their training so that they can answer those queries that are not in their dataset. These kinds of chatbots are slower as compared to Rule-Based chatbots because they need training automation for mapping queries to the response.

These bots can be used as a personal virtual assistant like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

UPS and Skyscanner are also rule-based bots that are good enough to handle necessary inquiries about shipping and flight rates. Most of the other bots in the market today are rule-based bots because building a truly AI-bot requires building a self-training bot that utilizes natural language processing

How to Build a Chatbot?

Let’s see by how many ways we can construct a chatbot. We can classify chatbots further based on how were they built. We can create chatbots with no code, low code, and only code. To construct chatbot with no code and low code, we use chatbot development platforms like dialogflow, chatfuel, botsify, motion.ai and, so on. To create a chatbot with only code, we’ll go either for programming languages like python, javascript etc. or some platforms that provide this feature too.

Why Dialogflow?

In this tutorial, we’ll study how to build a chatbot using dialogflow. But why, dialogflow? Why not any other chatbot building platform or by using programming languages? We use dialogflow because we can create all three types of chatbots using it. i.e. chatbots with no-code, low code, and only code.

Dialogflow is a chatbot building platform that provides a user-friendly environment to build both rule-based or ai-powered chatbots with no-coding, low coding or only coding. We can build natural and rich conversational experiences using it.

Dialogflow helps in building voice and content-based conversational interfaces. It furnishes offices to associate with clients on your website, versatile application, the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger, and other popular platforms and devices. More importantly, It’s free to signup, and it can even provide live testing over the smart display, smartphones, smart speakers.

Just think of you’re running a small organization and you aren’t able to pay a receptionist every month what you can do is, you can integrate a chatbot to your website or any of the above applications to handle those queries. Or, you can use chatbot if you are a parent and want your child to learn vocally by playing games.

Don’t trust me? Say or type “Ok Google, Talk to chemical cards amusement” (for English) and “Ok Google,” केमिकल कार्ड मनोरंजन से कनेक्ट करो ” (for Hindi) at your phone’s google assistant.

Proceed, I’ll pause.

Chemical cards amusement is a game to learn the atomic number and their names along with their symbols of modern periodic table {chemistry}. This game is now available in two locales one is English, and the other one is Hindi.

One more exciting and fantastic thing about Dialogflow is that it is now available in more than 15 root languages including English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian, French and many more.

Is there any prerequisite?

The prerequisites to follow this tutorial is, the learner must known about google sheets or ms-excel. Knowledge of programming languages like python, node.js is a plus.

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