Chatbots have been making the news recently and now they are expanding to diverse web services. In a recent post, CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn announced that the powerful bot-building platform api.ai can now be used to create intelligent and realistic conversations over Facebook Messenger. This is sure to dramatically change the way customer service is handled.
Api.ai and its Siri-like conversational UI allow users to create bots that automatically handle requests with no coding experience required. The app user has to simply provide a few examples of ways people might interact with the bot, connect the bot to the desired web service, and launch. From then on, the bot will use machine learning to become smarter and better able to handle requests as it receives more responses.
Api.ai raised $3 million last year in funding last August, and has an interesting board of advisors including Stephen Wolfram, Mike Cassidy, and Dariusz Paczuski. It is considered by some to be one of the hottest startups in Palo Alto, and certainly has great opportunities for further advancement.
With this recent development, we can certainly see both the awe-inspiring and slightly terrifying aspects of technological advancement; while api.ai represents a great milestone in AI technology, it might also signify the beginning of robot-based customer service.