Since Facebook decided to made its artificial intelligence platform fastText open source (fastText at GitHub), a couple of services have been launched connecting to Facebook and its messenger. This article introduces a couple of services offering an api to create chatbots and bots for other purposes. Some even do require programming skills.
The first platform is Chatfuel, which is one of these platforms enabling to create chatbots for messengers without programming. According to the description at the homepage it needs just a couple of minutes to create a chatbot. To try it out and having fun this might be great, but take use of the technology for a serious purposes like customer support you may think about feeding the bot with meaningful answers first. The bot may fulfill typical task in communications. Currently 230000 chatbots have been created using the free service.
recast.ai is the second one. It has a different approach by offering a collaboration platform. The idea is to create moduls for particular purposes, which may become shared within the community to ease the creation of more complex bots. To users who participate in this collaborative effort the platform is free as well. The focus of recast.ai is on chatbots and on personal assistants.
The third platform is Flow XO, which again is offering a different service. Its interface is intuitive and allows to create bots without programming skills as well. Flow XO offers a wider range of options for integration, which includes MySQL or collaboration tools and many cloud applications making it an easy to use business solution.
The latter case shows that bot and chatbots may be used for most different purposes beside offering services just on large networks like Facebook or popular messenger services like SnapChat or Whatsapp. Bots may to used to automate standardized tasks and to reduce costs. Even smaller platforms may offer their own bot services.
A significant example is the team messaging service Slack. It has about 2 million members and is used by various scientific teams. Slack provides an own app development platform and has a rubric bots whithin its app directory. There is even support by third party services like Beep Boop providing a toolkit to create bot apps. The toolkit has been made open source: Howdy AI Botkit.
Last but not least the open source software development community GitHub itself, where most of the above mentioned solutions are hosted, is running a bot solution being available by open source: HuBot.