Amazon Lex Releases No-Code ‘Visual’ Voice AI/Chatbot Platform
Amazon has introduced a visual setup for its Lex automated chatbot and phone-based voice assistant designer that skips the need for software coding. The Visual Conversation Builder lets companies deploy conversational AI-powered chatbots built around natural language models through drag-and-drop templates and customized conditions.
Amazon created Lex to streamline the creation and rollout of chatbots and virtual agents. The platform compresses several weeks of work into just a few hours. The AI can process conversation transcripts collected by a company into a usable chatbot built with common intents and ideas as a template. The conversational AI engine can then be employed at contact centers, customer support phone lines, or wherever else it might be useful. The Visual Conversation Builder ups the ability of Amazon Lex by eliminating coding in favor of meu editors and custom text options. The chatbot or virtual agent deployed as a result can then handle complicated conversations and respond appropriately to what customers say on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, or Twilio SMS.
“In addition to the already available menu-based editor and Amazon Lex APIs, the visual builder gives a single view of an entire conversation flow in one location, simplifying bot design and reducing dependency on development teams. Conversational designers, UX designers, and product managers—anyone with an interest in building a conversation on Amazon Lex—can utilize the builder,” Amazon explained in a blog post. “Designers and developers can now collaborate and build conversations easily in the VCB without coding the business logic behind the conversation. The visual builder helps accelerate time to market for Amazon Lex-based solutions by providing better collaboration, easier iterations of the conversation design, and reduced code complexity.”
Conversational AI for customer service has exploded in recent years. The market has attracted a steady stream of big investment checks for startups like PolyAI’s recent $40 million, Aisera’s $90 million, and Invoca’s $83 million just in the last few months. Tech giants like Amazon are very much a part of the space, but it’s not an automatic win for it, or Google, or Microsoft, even as it works to integrate technology from its $19.7 billion purchase of Nuance.