每年在西班牙舉辦兩次的API盛會，今年於十一月22與23號成功於巴塞隆納mobile world center舉行，以往的主題跨足自然語言處理(NLP)、開放資料(Open Data)等面向，這次盛會則聚焦於聊天機器人的發展以及其在API上的應用與管理。
APIDays is held in Spain twice a year, and it was held successfully in Barcelona on 22th and 23th November. The event topic is relevant to NLP, Open data and it focuses on chatbot for this round.
Attendants mostly came from south Europe, and most of them are developers while few are UI designers and company managers. In terms of speakers, they come from US, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain. Up to 20 speakers share amazing speeches which makes this APIDays successful and wonderful! The agenda of APIDays were well-organized and clear from the whole picture of chatbot to the current trends, the development and implementation of chatbot and the future of chatbot.
The first day started from the history of chat in Europe, such as BBS from 1970 and then UNIX talk, IRC, ICQ, AIM, Jabber, Google talk, WhatsApp and Slack from 2010. From the history, we can understand the trends behind, developers love to chat as well. According to statistics, more than 18 million developers use chat rooms, share their codes and exchange their experiences. Therefore, they started to develop in chatbot. The focus changes from command line chats to conversational bots and now is intelligent chatbots. One speaker said that bot will replace app little by little. In a view of the applications of bot is getting more and more popular, how to seize this opportunity is the main topic for the future. On the other side, some speakers emphasized on the focus of the domain which a company may want to specialized. Don’t do everything in one bot, instead, try to target on specific field. Thus, you can concentrate on it and meet all the needs of your target customers.
Another interesting topic is the discussion of user interface. We can figure out that company pay more and more attention to the user experience during the design of a chatbot. For example, how to keep a user chatting with the bot by guiding a user? That might be relevant to the design from the backend. Another example, how to distinguish between a new user and an experienced one? How do you design the conversation to make the segmentation work? There are several robots already set up in some Carrefour markets in France and Spain. They are allocated in front of the wine section to help customers find the most suitable wine. Based on the survey, customers might interact with the robot once, twice but don’t want to continue since the bot only suggest those wines which are repetitive. Customers feel bored with it. This story tells us that how important the software designed in the chabot so as to attract customers all the time. There is one startup from France called Citron, which built an AI chatbot successfully and attract many young users. By tracking a user’ habits and the locations where a user frequently asks, Citron will thus suggest the best place in Paris to that user. Besides, Citron also offers some special but useful information such as those supermarkets which open on Sunday. (Because most of the markets close on Sunday in Europe) Citron think thoroughly for their customers which makes them outstanding.
而API方面，越來越重視圖像化介面，讓開發者外的人員也能輕易上手，如IBM開發的Watson，可用機器學習演算法輕易建立聊天機器人，還能在後端分析所有資料，包含文字、圖片、影片、語音等等。LUIS(Language Understanding Intelligent Service)為免費的語言智能API，可建立在任何資料庫，如Oracle、NoSQL等等，提供創新服務Bot-as-a-Service (BaaS)，讓開發者不用再為訓練模型而煩惱，只要有足夠的用戶便能達到不錯的效能。現有的API追求人性化，而如何整合這些API並更有效地開發機器人，將是成功的關鍵。
As for API, more and more attention has been paid to graphical interface of an API, which can help people easily develop and not just for developers. For instance, IBM Watson can help a user build a chatbot very easily by applying machine learning algorithm and also offer the analytics of all kinds of data, such as context, picture, video and voice in the backend dashboard. Another example is LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service), which a free intelligent language API and it can base on any databases, such as Oracle, NoSQL, etc. They offer an innovative service like Bot-as-a-Service (BaaS), and users can create models for their application to better understand intents or entities.
In conclusion, nowadays APIs tend to be more and more user friendly. The key to success is how to integrate these APIs and apply them to develop in chatbot more efficiently.
『巴賽隆納APIDays Barcelona由BotPartner 歐洲參與活動協助』
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