Chatbots are computer programs that mimic human conversations with the intent to engage or entertain people. Integrating AI technologies, Text to Speech (TTS) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), Chatbots imitate human conversation for various purposes like customer service, information inquiry, entertainment etc.
What makes Chatbots So popular?
Chatbots are mostly used in messaging apps because of their simplicity. Chatbots are fancied by app developers for its ability to send task-based notifications, personalized information to the user’s devices, ask questions etc., all while being available for communication 24/7.
Bots, the humble beginnings of chatbots
It all started out with simple bots. You gave them a task, they performed that task and that was pretty much it. If you ever played games where you could buy pets or helpers, those were typically very simple text-based bots. They either offered some information on the game world (e.g.: “This is a quest available only to heroes who are level 6 or higher.”) or they would act on your orders.
For instance, you could say “buy a sword” and the bot would reply “What kind of sword?” After you picked one (e.g.: “iron”), it would reply back with something like “Okay. You bought an iron sword for $5”.
The modern chatbot revolution
Chatbots started to become more than just simple helpers back in 2016 when developers figured out they could use “conversational UX” to make engaging interfaces. These bots were designed so the user would talk to them like they would to another human being, not like how you would talk to, say, a search engine.
What makes an awesome chatbot!
The first thing you should figure out at this point is what do you want from your chatbot. Do you want it to be a customer service assistant? A researcher who knows more than your team combined? Maybe it should be like a colleague who can express witty remarks when appropriate, or maybe you want to create the next big e-celebrity. Whatever you prefer, there are some common features that all great chatbots have in common:
Greeting: This is very important for any sort of conversational interface, really. If you don’t greet the user, they are going to feel awkward for talking to your bot. This is even more important in chatbots because people expect it there.
Responses: You can’t just say “hello” and leave it at that! The user will get bored very quickly if all you do is exchange greetings. Instead, you should have responses that are witty or informative or whatever you want them to be. For instance, if the user says “hello”, you could reply with something like “A pleasure to meet you!”
Parsing: If your chatbot is going to work the way people expect it to – just like a computer would – you need to have some sort of parsing. This means that it should be able to understand even the most complex phrases, not just simple greetings or statements. A basic understanding of language is also necessary for it to work well, but this will come naturally with time as you are building your chatbot.
Chat-bots are becoming very popular in the chat applications. Almost every chat application uses chat-bots which provides us various utilities like weather, news, search functionality etc.
When we talk about chat-bot development and its skillset, one can see two main categories: platforms and programming languages.
What makes it different from usual web or mobile app development is that the bot should be designed in such a way that it collects information from user’s input and responds intelligently. To do that you’d need to apply some AI techniques like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning, deep learning, etc.
Without further ado, let’s dig into, How to create a Chatbot?
Chatbots can be built using different platforms. You can either code it from scratch or use the platforms that allow you to build chatbots with ease, thus saving time and allowing you to focus on other aspects of your project. Many third party platforms have been developed in order to simplify the process of building chatbots. You can choose these platforms based on your project need, platform flexibility and ease of use.
This process is divided into two steps. First, we have to code in Java Script programming language and another part in MySQL database for storing information.
For creating the web page you can use any text editor in your system. For example in windows- notepad, in Linux gedit etc.
After that for building a database we have used MySQL workbench which is available for free on the internet. You can get it by searching “MySQL workbench download” on Google.
Note: If you are using Mac or Linux you won’t need to install anything since it comes already installed. For Windows installation process is very straightforward.
You can easily create a database using the MySQL workbench. After creating the database, you have to give it some tables so that it can store your chatbot data in them. For this purpose we have created three tables- “user_table”, “query_table” and “response_table”.
We have defined many columns to these tables like “id” column, “user_name” column etc.
Include the library with “var WolframAlpha = require(‘wolframalpha’);”
And the initialize it with “var wolrma = new WolframAlpha();”.
After that you can use its functions like this: wolrma.query(question, callback(answer));
You can ask whatever question you want and the response will be in json format.
what are the different platforms available to create a Chatbot?
Moreover, there are many third party platforms which allow you to build Chatbots without much coding knowledge. These Platforms include:
Chatfuel – https://chatfuel.com/
ManyChat – http://manymessenger.com/ ManyChat offers a free account and requires no credit card for signup. It also supports multiple chatbots on one page, which allows you to create different departments like customer service chatbot, sales chatbot etc. on one page.
Pandorabots – http://pandorabots.com/ You can create your chatbots in the cloud by creating an account at pandorabots and uploading a zipped copy of the code. The chatbots created with pandorabots can be deployed on popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Slack, etc. I hope this article will help you create a chatbot for your project. If you have any questions related to this topic, then please write them down your comment below. Thank you!