We’ve changed our name! API.AI is now Dialogflow. Learn more here.

Structure and Content

March 29, 2017

With API.AI, our goal is help you create high quality and engaging agents. Today we’re taking that goal to the next step, adding some new features that will make it easier to build great agents across all of our supported platforms.

Follow-up Intents

Natural human dialogs are filled with follow-ups and confirmations for example:

Agent: Your cab can meet you at the corner of 5th and Broad street in 12 mins.
User: Ahh, can you repeat that please?
-or -
Agent: Do you want fries with that?
User: Sure, sounds good, thanks

Follow-up intents make these types of natural conversation flows easy to build and customize. With this new feature of API.AI you can define dialog situations that may follow any given “parent” intent you are currently working on.

While you can also do this (and much more) by manually defining Contexts, follow-up intents make the process of building sample dialogs easier by being more visual. We’ve thought of some of the most popular follow-up scenarios and taken care of building contexts for you automatically.

To start building Follow-up intents, click “Add follow-up intent” link and select one of the common follow-up options (such as confirmation, request to learn more, selection, etc.) or choose the option “Custom intent” to build a new unique follow-up. Common follow-up options contain pre-populated training examples that could be changed or augmented with phrases specific to your agent.

Finally, in the API.AI console Follow-up intents are nested under parent intents which makes it easier to see your agent conversation structure.

Prebuilt Agents

Building an advanced agent covering a comprehensive set of intents and entities can often be challenging even for the most skilled developer. Prebuilt Agents can help - they are free sample agents that are built by the API.AI team that utilize most of the API.AI platform’s capabilities. You can either use them as they are or modify them as needed to jump start building your own conversational agent.

So, if you are working in travel space, for example, you can use Flights Prebuilt Agent with built-in intents like, “Find a flight from Dublin to Copenhagen on July 16, returning July 23, for 2 people”, and follow-ups like “Actually, returning July 25”. Other agents available include booking, support, weather, TV, music player, and more.

Feel free to import any of the Prebuilt Agents to your account and reuse parts of it by copying intents and entities to your agent or augmenting the imported agent itself.

We will be rolling out new Prebuilt Agents regularly and will be happy to hear what agents you’d be interested to see next.

Happy coding,

API.AI team

Build Conversation Actions for Google Assistant users

December 8, 2016

Reach Google Assistant users on Google Home and soon, other Google Assistant surfaces, with our new Actions on Google integration

Starting today, you can build rich, conversational experiences for Google Assistant users on Google Home and deploy them as Conversation Actions in just a few easy steps with API.AI.

API.AI makes it possible for your service to receive and respond to user queries in natural language. So whether you aim to answer questions or help users to be more productive, API.AI can help you build engaging experiences.

To build a Conversation Action with API.AI, start by defining the user requests or intents that your service will handle. Then design the conversational flow. If you’re new to API.AI and want to develop Conversation Actions, we’ve prepared some handy docs and tutorials.

Once you’ve built your Conversational Action (or if you already have a service developed with API.AI), you can easily submit your integration for the Google Assistant in the Integrations tab.

After you launch, you can update your Conversation Action in real-time based on user interactions, and it will continue to get smarter based on API.AI’s machine learning capabilities.

This is just the beginning – in the future Actions on Google will let you reach Google Assistant users beyond Google Home, including Pixel phones and Google Allo.

With the addition of Actions on Google, API.AI can now support your conversational experience development efforts across 10+ platforms. And with our recently updated free Standard tier and advanced natural language understanding technology, you can build and scale engaging experiences for everyone.

Get a jump start on building conversational experiences using API.AI for Actions on Google and reach Google Home users now.

Happy coding, API.AI team

Freedom of Speech for Bots

November 3, 2016

Since API.AI launched, our goal has been to make building advanced conversational interfaces easy and enjoyable. It’s great to see the growing number of agents powered by API.AI, but we know there’s more work to do in order to be more accessible and enhance the platform’s feature set. Today, we’re making progress towards both of these goals:

First, we’re removing limitations on the number of queries for our Free plan for both public and private agents (bandwidth limits may apply). This means that you don’t have to worry about how much it’s going to cost when your chatbot takes off - you can just savor the moment! And for those of you who need some more premium features - higher bandwidth, SLA, pre-built domains to name a few - we can develop a custom Preferred plan that’s just right for you.

Second, we’ve added features that’ll help liven up your chatbot responses. Starting today, API.AI supports Rich Messaging - cards, images, quick replies - on popular platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Kik, and Telegram. This new feature will enhance the quality of your bot’s dialogue, keeping your audience engaged and entertained.

You can also use Custom Payload in your bot response to add payments, confirmations, receipts, videos and other types of rich content supported by the messaging platform.

We can’t wait to see the new exciting conversational agents you build with the help of API.AI. So, what are you waiting for? Start building your agent now.

Happy Bot Building, API.AI team

API.AI is joining Google!

September 19, 2016

We are excited to announce that API.AI is joining Google!

It has been a long and fun journey. Since API.AI’s launch in 2014, we’ve been constantly impressed by the fast and energetic adoption of the technology from people building conversational interfaces for chatbots, connected cars, smart home devices, mobile applications, wearables, services, robots and more. Our vision has been to make technology understand and speak human language and help developers build truly intelligent conversational interfaces for their products and services. The best part of our day is hearing from our diverse community and how they are using API.AI to create truly innovative, practical and inspirational products that will reshape how we live and work in the future.

What does this mean to you? We’re excited for you to continue using our developer platform to build conversational user interfaces. Joining Google will allow us to accelerate improvements to the platform and service our growing developer community in ways we’ve always dreamed. With Google’s knowledge, infrastructure and support, we can make sure you get access to the best available technologies and developments in AI and machine learning.

As we start this next chapter, we want to express how truly grateful we are to our customers, developers, partners, employees, advisors and investors. We can’t wait to continue working with you and could not have gotten to this point without your support.We cannot thank you enough.

We hope you are as excited as we are with what’s to come at Google and value your continued support.

Sincerely, Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO

API.AI’s Cisco Spark and Tropo Solution at Cisco Live!

June 24, 2016

It’s always exciting to do a little show-and-tell with products you’re proud of. That’s why we can’t wait to be at Cisco Live in Las Vegas from July 10-14, where we’ll be demonstrating API.AI’s latest integrations with Cisco Spark and Cisco-owned Tropo. We’ll be exhibiting at the event as well – if you’re attending, come by and see us at booth C7.

Tropo and Spark are each part of Cisco’s suite of communications solutions. Tropo is a cloud API for communicating via voice and SMS messaging, intended for large-scale enterprises and service providers. Using Tropo, developers and companies can automate real-time communication over voice and messaging channels – especially valuable as a platform for fostering collaboration in the cloud.

Spark is an enterprise messenger that features options for voice and video communication. Cisco has opened the APIs for Spark so that enterprise developers are welcome to customize the technology as needed.

Our Tropo and Spark integrations team up those technologies with API.AI’s own natural language understanding capabilities, adding the rich possibilities of conversational user experiences to these communications tools. Developers taking advantage of these new integrations can create bots and interfaces that comprehend natural speech and respond in real-time. And, our Tropo and Spark integrations are designed to accommodate business needs and common corporate policies around security, privacy, safe control over data, interoperability, and conforming with IT standards.

We’re proud to say that these integrations have already proven themselves to be valuable solutions for building powerful cloud-based collaboration tools, as our partner Redbooth can attest. Redbooth offers a cloud-based collaboration product that assists business teams in easily communicating ideas, amplifying productivity and performance. It makes use of Tropo and Spark in order to implement several aspects of its product’s communications functionality (for example, adding telephony to let users easily turn online conversations into phone calls with the click of a button for when instant voice communication is essential). Now using API.AI’s integrations, Redbooth has added a task management feature and has produced a bot that engages with users through natural language conversations – and can retrieve any information stored within Redbooth’s software. Users can simply speak with Redbooth’s bot just as they would with another person and receive a highly satisfying user experience.

Anyone at Cisco Live interested in developing conversational bots and interfaces for their communications solutions should come by and say, ‘Hi.’ We’d love to see you there.

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