Blog #20

Blog #21

 5 Feb 2018

The Microsoft Bot Framework

A bot is an application that allows a human to interact with the machine in a conversational manner.

They can communicate in text format, or with speech and “cards”.  A developer may build a bot that simply matches on patterns or keywords to then subsequently return a response.

Alternatively, a layer of artificial intelligence or natural language processing may be woven into a bot to further improve the its capabilities.

In this post, we look at the Microsoft Bot Framework, we explore some concepts, what you can do with the Bot Framework and some of the use cases.

Concepts

What follows are some of the main concepts and components or a typical bot.

Channel

A channel is the connection between the Bot Framework and communication apps such as Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Office 365 mail, and others. The Skype and web chat channels are automatically pre-configured.

Bot Connector

The Bot Connector service connects a bot to one or more channels and handles the message exchange between them. This connecting service allows the bot to communicate over many channels without manually designing a specific message for each channel's schema.

Activity

The Bot Connector uses an activity to exchange information between bot and channel. Any communication going back and forth is an activity of some type. Some activities are invisible to the user, such as the notification that the bot has been added to a user's contact list.

Message

A message is the most common type of activity. A message can be as simple as a text string or contain attachments, interactive elements, and rich cards. For example, adding a bot to the user's contact list could trigger the bot to respond with a message containing a string saying "Thank you!" and an image of a happy face.

Dialog

A dialog helps organize the logic in your bot and manages conversation flow. Dialogs are arranged in a stack, and the top dialog in the stack processes all incoming messages until it is closed or a different dialog is invoked.

Benefits of using the Bot Framework

No matter which type of bot you want to build, whether it be a customer service bot, or support assistant, you tend to some key tasks and problems to resolve.

  • I/O interface
  • Language processing
  • Connecting users

The Bot Framework has some tools and features to help you with these types of task and can reduce your development time.
 

To find out more about the different types of learning in ML, Microsoft Cognitive Services and the BOT framework, click the below image to download our Machine Learning eBook.

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