Ilya Gelfenbeyn
May 25, 2016 · 3 min read

How API.AI’s Integration with Twilio Programmable SMS Lets Businesses Build Bots with the Potential to Reach Billions

By Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO, API.AI

SMS text messaging is one of the most ubiquitous forms of communication today. With an estimated 3.5 billion active users, the service connects just about half of all people on earth. These users represent a vast opportunity for businesses to conduct customer outreach via SMS, an area where Twilio plays a key role.

Twilio provides a cloud-based platform to send and receive SMS text messages to phone numbers around the world. This enables businesses to build and grow relationships with customers with text-based targeted offers, customer service and support communications, account updates and reminders, etc. However, businesses’ efforts on the SMS channel often live or die by the quality of these communications. There’s a fine line between messaging that users dismiss as spam and a dialogue that truly connects with users, provides real value and results in a well-appreciated user experience.

This is why we’re proud to introduce the integration of our API.AI conversational user experience platform with Twilio Programmable SMS. With this new integration, developers can now quickly and easily build powerful conversational user experiences, transforming their text message communications into rapport-building, interactive dialogues.

API.AI features artificially intelligent natural language understanding capabilities, complete with context awareness and the ability to switch seamlessly between conversation topics. Utilizing these features, businesses using API.AI-empowered bots on Twilio’s messaging service gain automated and uniquely responsive brand representatives, able to converse with customers just like real people.

As an added boon to the 1,000,000+ developers in the Twilio ecosystem, a central aspect and differentiator of the API.AI platform is the high quality developer experience it provides. API.AI does the heavy lifting of integration work for developers, making it fast and simple to get started creating bots, with no coding required. With API.AI, it’s possible for developers to create an agent in just minutes.

Portability is a major benefit of API.AI as well — developers that have already created a bot for any API.AI supported platform (Slack, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Kik, etc.) can immediately leverage that previously built API.AI agent to reach new audiences through the Twilio SMS Gateway or any of these multiple, integrated channels. Developers also have access to API.AI’s pre-built knowledge packages, designed to offer a comprehensive selection of capable solutions to help ease entry and let developers hit the ground running. Machine learning, a core feature of the API.AI platform, offers a big assist to developers as well, delivering automatic improvements as bots operate and gain experience in the field through continued conversations and interactions with users.

The Twilio Programmable SMS also makes it easier for businesses to get started with automated messaging by providing toll-free numbers for calls and texts. For any business in a position to reap the rewards of automatic, conversational bots create positive user experiences that can reach literally billions via text messaging.

Exploring the possibilities of API.AI’s integration with Twilio Programmable SMS is likely to be very advantageous. We encourage developers and businesses alike to experiment with API.AI’s easy interface for getting started with creating an agent in Twilio, and see where it can take them.

Ilya Gelfenbeyn is CEO of API.AI, a provider of conversational user experience platform.

Ilya Gelfenbeyn

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