Google has rolled out an enterprise edition of Dialogflow, an application programming interface that developers can use to build support for voice recognition and conversational capabilities in their applications.
The API, available in beta form currently, has several use cases in enterprises, including in areas such as customer service and support, e-commerce, enterprise productivity and the internet of things (IoT), according to Google. Organizations, for instance, can use the API to build conversational interfaces for their support or e-commerce websites or enable speech recognition support for mobile applications or IoT devices.
Dialogflow's conversational interaction capability is powered by machine learning. It uses natural language processing capabilities to listen to what a user might say and then build a model for learning what actions to take or what data to extract in response, said Dan Aharon, product manager for Google's Cloud AI group, in a Nov. 16 blog.
Google is offering 30 prebuilt agents that developers can use to quickly enable responses to certain types of popular voice interactions such as those involving questions about the weather, the temperature and currency conversions. A so-called Small Talk agent will let organizations customize these agents to respond in a manner that includes branding or product specific information.
Enterprise software developers can use Dialogflow to build a conversational app once and then deploy it across their own website, on Google Assistant, or on 32 different software platforms and messaging services, Aharon said. Since Dialogflow supports multiple languages, organizations can use the API to develop conversational apps that can be used around the world, he noted.
The enterprise edition of Dialogflow supports advanced fulfillment capabilities. In other words, developers can use the API to build apps that respond to a wide range of voice commands, from processing an order for pizza to generating responses to user queries on a customer support site.
The enterprise version of the API also is covered under Google's standard terms of service for cloud platform customers and comes with the same support options. It is available as part of Google's Cloud Platform offering and supports unlimited text and voice interactions and higher usage quotas compared with the free standard edition.
Unlike the standard version, where support is available only via email and in community forums, the enterprise version comes with full Google Cloud support. While the standard version of Dialogflow is targeted at small and medium-size businesses, the pay-as-you-go enterprise edition is targeted at organizations that need enterprise-grade service, according to Google.
Some businesses have already begun using the API to enable conversational capabilities in their applications, according to Aharon. Japanese retailer UNIQLO, for instance, has used Dialogflow to integrate a chatbot into its mobile app so customers can get responses to a wide range of questions when they are in-store or online.
PolicyBazaar, an online insurance marketplace in India, used Dialogflow to deploy a chatbot that helps answer questions from potential purchasers of insurance policies. The company has been using a logging capability in the API to track customer requests and to improve fulfillment capabilities, Aharon claimed.