Your Guide to AI and Chatbot Creation Platforms, Tools & Resources
Alexa has conquered your living room (and your kids have their own Echo now) and your clients are starting to ask for a chatbot just because they’ve heard that it’s something they really need. This article will give developers and project managers who are new to AI-supported bot development a quick but thorough overview of the available products, services and tools to start building your first bot today (in a full-featured interactive mind map).
Your Clients Are Right — They Need Chatbots
Chatbots — AI supported or not — can automate customer service tasks, give lead generation a new face and free resources in general. They even work more and more as virtual assistants in health care. And there’s money in it: The global chatbot market is growing to reach US$5.3 billion by 2023, the European AI market increases fivefold within five years rising to 10 billion euros and even one out of four notoriously cautious Germans want to talk to a chatbot.
Do You Have What it Takes or Need a Head Start?
As a consultant for digital marketing or a project manager for emerging technologies, you have to dive into new waters all the time. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a head start? It’s your lucky day.
Back in 2018, I had to jump into the cold water of AI-supported bots and conversational interfaces like Alexa, fast. The topic was not new to me (big Asimov fan) and I’ve already built chatbots in Second Life more than a decade ago* (virtual tour guides and tutors, mostly AIML-based), but I had only a very superficial idea about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning was not on my radar yet.
Top 4 Most Popular Bot Design Articles:
The What’s What and Who’s Who in Chatbots & AI
So I started researching to find out what I’ve gotten myself into and saved all the first pointers I got from my esteemed new colleagues at the SEED Token Project in the social bookmark tool Diigo, where I curate bookmark lists based on topics. Soon I realised that it was like Pandora’s Box. A lot of questions were piling up:
- Which tools and platforms are the market players?
- Can I build a half-decent AI assistant (chatbot or voice) without coding and how far does it get me with my specific use case?
- Voice assistants: Are there any alternatives to the Internet Giants?
- Which are Open Source, affordable for startups or even free?
- Do you need hardcore bot developers for every chatbot and how much does a bot development or the platform cost?
After collecting, evaluating and curating I’ve structured everything in an interactive mind map which I update whenever I find a great new tool or resource. Meanwhile, German machine learning specialist Uwe Sterr joined me and he and other experts are contributing to the ever-growing map. It comes with descriptions and links. I thought it might be useful for other folks, too. Feel free to download, remix and share and let me know what’s missing.
Your Guide to AI and Chatbot Creation Tools
The interactive map provides an overview of the AI and bot creation marketplace with descriptions of available tools and resources for chatbot creators (including voice). My personal favourites are usually the ones with a GUI that are very easy to use. I focused on open source resources and tools that offer free plans, but all the major players are included. Use this map as a jump-start if you are new to AI-supported bot development or when you need a quick but thorough overview and reference. Far from being (ever) complete, this is more like a glorified and very personal annotated bookmark list that will hopefully save other people time.
Here you go:
Have fun and please let me know if you are interested in extending the map, then I’ll just need your email and will give you write permissions. You can download and copy it anyway if you log in to Mindmeister for free.