Dorai Thodla gave a fine talk about ChatBots today for Nasscom Product Forum, Chennai. Dorai Thodla is a serial entrepreneur, he co-founded two companies in India and two in the USA. He currently helps companies bootstrap product initiatives, advises companies on product and market strategies. You can follow to his tweets mostly on Chatbots @dorait.

Listening to Dorai was like drinking from a firehouse, he talked about everything from machine learning, AI, chatbots and everything in between. You miss a minute, and you lost few valuable nuggets.

Some of the pointers from his talk:

  • A simple definition for Chatbots will be they are “Conversation Interfaces driven by Intelligence
  • Ted Livingston says “Chat is the new browser, bots are the new websites
  • Chatbots goes back to 1950s with the Turing Test, ELIZA in 1966, ALICE in 1995 to modern day messaging platforms including Slack, WeChat, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, Microsoft Skype and more
  • Bots can be of different ways – By Intelligence implementation (Rule-based or AI based), Use (Entertainment, Education), Function (Infobots, Companion bots) or Type of users (Personal Bots vs Team Bots)
  • Rule-based chatbots can be implemented with AIML, ChatScript
  • AI based chatbots can be built on your own using NLP, NLU, NLG
  • You have services like WP SlackSync that even integrate WordPress blog to a chatbot
  • Typically chatbots architecture will be of 5 blocks – Messaging Interface, Conversation Analysis, Mapping, Executing Actions and Knowledge base
  • Lot of learning videos at O’Reilly BotDay 2016
  • Microsoft’s API can be seen at Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) & Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK)
  • Google has Tensorflow, Facebook has Wit.AI & Messenger platform
  • Elon Musk promotes Open AI
  • Latest articles on the subject can be read from Chatbot Blog (, KDNuggets (
  • Shivon Zilis map on entire Machine Learning landscape (
  • Deep learning for Chatbots – WildML, Alan Nichol – Do it yourself NLP for bot developers, AI for your business with training data – crowdflower

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