It seems as if everyone in IT is talking about chatbots in some form or another, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to name a few. All this excitement makes chatbots look like a new innovation just conceived in Silicon Valley, but the technology has been around for more than half a century. And if PullString has its way, it will be the go to platform individuals, small businesses and enterprises will use to create chatbots.
The Origin of Chatbots
According to a Time Magazine report, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Joseph Weizenbaum created a bot called ELIZA in the 1960’s. Apparently, ELIZA was programmed to say psychotherapy phrases such as “tell me more”, and hold simple conversations with people. But it was nothing more than simulating conversation by using pattern matching and substitution methodology. ELIZA did not have a built in framework for contextualizing events.
Fast forward to 2016, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, cloud computing and broadband technology have come together to give the current batch of chatbots the intelligence (for lack of a better word) ELIZA was missing.
The PullString Platform was created by PullString Inc. to provide a professional authoring environment with a hosted AI, machine learning runtime, and integrated conversation analytics. The company says it is a comprehensive solution designed to give anyone a platform to communicate with their customers more efficiently no matter what industry they are in.
PullString supports most of the conversational applications in the market, including Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa, Skype, Slack, Kik, mobile, and web.
Make Anything Talk With PullString
According to the company, it provides everything you need to build your own conversation-enabled applications, and no programming is required. PullString gives you API specification, open source SDKs for popular languages, and example code so you can build your own conversation.
The authoring environment has pre-built intents PullString has compiled in the default library, or you can define your own context-specific intents. You can then integrate text, images, audio and video along with platform-specific structured messages and cards.
Conversational AI Platform
The hybrid AI engine uses intents, entities, rules, synonyms, dialog management and rapid iteration to carryout contextual conversations that are human-like.
The intelligence of the platform also extends to APIs you can connect to with web services to extend the conversation so the bots you create can answer questions from a knowledge base, add events to your calendar and access news or weather services.
The conversation can be improved with an analytics suite that lets you see and understand how the content is performing in your market, and see how your audience reacts to any changes you make.
Small Business Use Cases for Chatbots
Chatbots can do many things, and for small business owners the number can quickly become overwhelming. But if you own a small business, you now have access to a technology that will save you time, allow you to interact with your customers with greater efficiency and be available 24/7 by delivering crucial functions when you are not around.
The pricing plans for the PullString Platform are available in three tiers, starting with the free Individual plan. The free plan is a single user license that only lets you create text projects, but you get an unlimited number of projects and bots with hosting included. The analytics for this tier is basic and your project is stored locally on your system
The Agency tier has seat licensing, and you can create text, voice and video projects with an unlimited number of projects, and bots. But it has advanced analytics, team collaboration, support with email, chat and phone, and cloud storage for the projects.
The Enterprise tier has all of the features of Agency, but it is an enterprise license.
The price for the Agency and Enterprise tiers can be obtained by contacting the company.
If you want to see how chatbots can improve your small business, PullString gives you everything you need to create your own applications. It has professional tools that don’t require programming, rapid prototyping so you can introduce products to market faster and enterprise scalability if you grow faster than expected. And the best thing about it is you can start for free.
The PullString website has detailed information on what chatbots can do for you, and how you can go about creating them.
Source: Small Business Trends