The AI Playbook — part 6: Beginner roads towards building a new Chatbot 🤖

Grasia Hald
Nov 1, 2017 · 5 min read

Let’s get started: it’s time to bring your bot to life! 🙌🚀

All the cool kids are using Chatbots 🚀

You’ve heard it from us before: chatbots are awesome! 🤖

They’re an artificial intelligence based software that have been programmed to simulate and carry a conversation with an end user on their own and without the help of a human being.

Chatbots are the coolest virtual assistants around, and all the cool kids are using them 😎✨ The reason behind it is that by now is common knowledge that the equation, Human + Bot, is a winning one.

As you know, Chatbots manage to converse with users thanks to the magic of artificial intelligence and machine learning, both technologies that take inspiration from trying to understand and simulate human cognition .

Chatbots have a long history, with the first one being built decades ago in 1964 by the great Joseph Weizenbaum. This bot was called Eliza, but in recent times we’ve come a long way since the “birth of the first” bot. Great advances in the field of artificial intelligence have allowed chatbots to learn and imitate the way the human brain works . This has make them the to-go tool of all the companies that desire to stay relevant in current times where data is the new oil and digitisation is taking over and by revolutionising the workplace.

Its time to get your very own company bot!

You’ve been seduced by the power (cuteness) of AI

So you’ve heard all about chatbots and how beneficial they can be for the companies that deploy them. You’ve come to the conclusion that you need a chatbot to help you reach your business objectives because:

  1. Chatbots will allow you to always stay in contact with your customers, at any time and any day. Having a bot means that there will be “someone” ready to talk to your costumers 24/7.
  2. Having a chatbot will allow you to offer personalized customer service and expand the reach of your brand.
  3. Through a chatbot you can collect information about your costumers preferences that can be used to later direct the costumer to purchase or acquire a product or service.

This are only a few of the reasons why having a company Chatbot is good business. If you’re more than ready to begin, a word of advice is that before you jump into the fun, you have a quick look at this list of considerations to make prior immersing on an AI led digital transformation. Doing so will help you understand whether your company is ready to make the leap into AI implementation.

⚙️ Building the thing! 🛠

Time to sweat for what you want! 🤓

Every company has its own KPI and needs, therefore no road map towards building a product will ever be the same for different organisations looking to achieve different things. However, there is still common ground around getting started with bots.

To put it simple there are two roads towards building your own chatbot:

  1. DIY: parenting your Chatbot by yourself 👶:

In this digital era if you’re curious enough you can teach yourself to basically built anything. If you arm yourself with patience, Google and Youtube the sky is the limit 👊🏻

There’s an extra advantage that lies in the fact that in order to build a chatbot, there are variety of tools out there that allow you to build a bot without you needing to have prior coding experience.

You can check some of them out: DialogFlow, Chatfuel, etc.

There are also platforms out there that let you run simulations of your bot so you can “design it right” like BotSociety.

If you decide to go through the DIY road you can expect to spend something between a couple of days to a week building your own Chatbot. All depending on how good you are at learning to use new platforms and how “fancy” you want your chatbot to be. You can also learn how to make your dumb bot smart with this step by step guide, but here it’s where things can start to get tricky if you like me have 0 developing experience.

The DIY road can be very exciting and of course “free”, but I advise you to take your time in making sure the chatbot feels right and that you do some A/B testing to make sure it’s able to do what is its supposed to do before releasing it to the world. If there’s something you want to avoid at all costs is to have users leave your page upset because they had a bad experience with the bot and they fell like their time has been wasted.

2. Get help from the Pros

If you have the means to do so, invest in having professionals build the bot for you. They’re professionals for a reason and you should think of using their experience to ensure that you really provide a top solution to your valuable costumers.

Building a chatbot with a professionals that know what they're doing can be extremely straight forward. You can get an idea of how easy it can be by reading this guide that presents 3 simple steps to Customer Service Automation with AI. Here, Francesco Stasi CEO of BotSupply has highlighted 3 main steps to deploy AI in your Customer Service:

1. Problem definition
2. Dataset and model creation
3. Launch & iteration

If you have a clear objective on what business pain you wish to resolve the process of building the bot becomes easy as pie! 🍮

There are many advantages of letting the pros do their work: from being able get support and bot maintenance (which you will be very glad for once your bot is being used by several end users on a daily basis) to being able to really develop a kick-ass “Botsonality” a cool chatbot persona that helps bring your branding efforts to the next level.

It can also be the case that in order to solve your business pain your company a more sophisticated chatbot, want that uses computer vision or that allows the users to make payments or bookings. In this cases, it pays, to let the experts do their work.

So there you go, one goal two roads! Depending on your business needs you should decide which option fits you best! 🤓

#WeCoCreate

Organizations partner with our network of AI scientists, bot engineers and creatives to co-create AI & bots

Grasia Hald

Written by

🤖 AI enthusiast & SoMe junky✌🏽 Sometimes I am a communicator, sometimes I am a Neuropsychologist. I’m always curious about disruption & bots.

#WeCoCreate

Organizations partner with our network of AI scientists, bot engineers and creatives to co-create AI & bots