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Developers are now aware that bot building is something they might have to do in the coming years. Bots are finding their place in private and professional lives, as many use cases focus on augmenting our productivity or addressing business challenges.

However, bot building is still a mystery to many, and isn’t clearly defined: it’s coding, but it’s also implementing a conversational logic, and it has a big language component. Often, building a bot is very time consuming, and time/quality ratio isn’t very rewarding to a developer.

And sometimes, the whole experience is even frustrating! A developer can have this amazing AI idea in mind, but fail to create it through lack of means, lack of appropriate tools or an underperforming technology.

To solve these issues, we’re launching a brand new bot building tool to improve the quality of your bot building and keeping it as simple as before: Bot Skills. Bot Skills are a new bot making concept. They allow you to go much deeper in the perfecting of your conversational interfaces.

Bot Skills - Presentation of the basic skills

Start thinking in Skills

When building a bot, many people create a dialog tree, but they aren’t usually very efficient. It is much more powerful to think in terms of “what will my bot know how to do? What are its tasks and abilities? Will it give me the weather and the time?”. When thinking like this, you quickly understand the purpose of Bot Skills. A skill is a defined brick in your bot which manages one specific part of the conversation, such as greetings, weather, order, payment, and many others. Therefore, when building a bot, it’s essential to build the skills you want it to master.

Think of your bot flow differently with triggers and requirements

Bot Skills introduce two new concepts: triggers and requirements. Usually, in bot building, the bot brings the user along a specific path. With Bot Skills, the bot reacts to user inputs. That makes it very adaptable, giving the lead of the interaction to the user. A trigger defines why a skill should be activated after a user message (e.g after the mention of a word or detection of an intent);  a requirement is a key information necessary to complete the skill (e.g obtain the email and user ID to complete a booking).

With these new elements, you are able to create much more adaptable flows: whether the user gives all the information, none at all, or one piece at a time, your bot juggles through the responses to get the necessary data and complete the conversation, without you having to code this logic.

Send rich messages without coding

Integrated into our new Bot Builder is a rich messaging creation module which allows you to create bot answers in rich messaging directly on Recast.AI. You don’t need to do it in your code anymore! Now fully integrated with Bot Connector, you can connect to any channel that supports rich messaging in a few minutes.

Call external services easily with webhooks integrated in the platform

Bot Skills can ping any external service through webhooks, such as an API to connect to client databases (e.g. world weather or train schedules APIs) or your own. Everything is integrated in the platform.

Benefit from a community of 22 000+ developers sharing their skills

Since its foundation, Recast.AI has been built on the idea of community. Skills are no exceptions! They are sharable, forkable and improvable by all Recast.AI members. Today, more than 22 000+ developers use our platform to build bots. So if you’ve built the most amazing flight booking skill, please share and show it to the world! We’ll also be happy to promote it for you.

Bot Skills - Bot Conversation Flow

We hope these features will allow you to go further in your bot building to provide outstanding experiences. You can check our changelog and tutorials to keep improving your bot building skills! Happy coding.

🤖 Happy bot building 🤖

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Also published on Medium.

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