Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Building Digital Assistants, Virtual Agents, and Chatbots: A Vendor Guide

William Meisel, President, TMA Associates

AIW-Digital-Assistants-Report-CoverBe part of this major trend!

Automated interactions with customers and employees using human language is a major trend. The technology of using “natural language” in digital assistants and chatbots—communicating by text or voice conversations—has passed well beyond the tipping point of usability and is supporting true interactive conversations. The number of channels that support this intuitive connection with digital systems has exploded—mobile apps, customer service lines, web sites, home devices, messaging services, and more.

Connecting with customers with a digital assistant is efficient for customers and cost-effective for companies. Customers simply say or type what they want and interact until they meet their goals. The digital assistant is your representative and can be available to your customer even across multiple channels. It is rapidly becoming a requirement to be available through the general personal assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Facebook Messenger, but this requirement is also an opportunity to do the basic research that leads to an independent branded company digital assistant—eventually as necessary as a company web site.

You don’t have to be an expert in natural language processing, speech recognition, or machine learning to be part of this trend. Many companies supply basic technology, tools, and support in creating natural-language assistants that can be customized to your goals.

A major resource!

Dr. Meisel has created the ultimate reference guide for finding the best match of resources to your needs and to your desired level of involvement in development. The report covers 189 companies that can develop a complete digital assistant for you, some for specific channels or vertical markets and some addressing multiple channels. In addition, the report covers another 154 companies that can provide a part of the solution (e.g., a custom text-to-speech voice for your branded digital assistant). At almost 500 pages, the in-depth insights in the report not only save you time, but help avoid mistakes.

About the author

William Meisel, Ph.D., president, TMA Associates, is publisher and editor of the monthly paid-subscription, no-ads newsletter LUI News (covering commercial applications of the Language User Interface), leader of the workshop on Building an Application-Specific Intelligent Assistant at the upcoming AI World Conference, organizer of the Conversational Interaction Conference. His experience in language technology includes founding and running a speech recognition company, technical papers on neural networks, a technical book on machine learning, books on the voice user interface, and eleven patents in the area. His monthly in-depth coverage of companies in the area of this report and his deep understanding of the underlying technology (and its strengths and weaknesses) make this report one of a kind.