Over the past five years, conversational applications have entered the mainstream. Virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Alexa field tens of billions of voice and natural language queries every month. Voice-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home reside in over a hundred million homes and represent one of the fastest-growing product categories of all time.
Given this widespread consumer adoption, many global corporations are investing heavily in Conversational AI to realize a similar game-changing transformation in the modern enterprise. The challenge however, is that nearly all software developers and data scientists still struggle to build truly reliable and useful conversational experiences for enterprise use cases. While there is an abundance of academic research and open-source software covering the topic, there are few practical resources to help guide engineers toward building production-quality conversational applications suitable for enterprise deployment.
Cisco, as the global leader in enterprise voice technology, has been at the forefront of many of the advances in Conversational AI over the past decade. In 2017, Cisco acquired MindMeld, which pioneered and commercialized one of the industry’s first Conversational AI platforms. Over the past five years, the MindMeld Conversational AI Platform has been used to build advanced conversational applications for some of the world’s largest organizations. Through this experience, the MindMeld team has formalized many of the techniques and best practices for building great conversational experiences in enterprise environments.
Easily build and test conversational AI applications
Today, Cisco is taking a big step towards empowering developers with more comprehensive and practical tools for building conversational applications by open-sourcing the MindMeld Conversational AI Platform. In addition to this Python-based machine learning framework, Cisco is also releasing extensive documentation and a step-by-step guide, called the Conversational AI Playbook. Intended for applied machine learning engineers, the Conversational AI Playbook represents one of the first practical guides detailing the steps required to build modern, state-of-the-art conversational experiences. By making this open source software and companion documentation available to partners and developers, Cisco is committed to helping more enterprises find success building and deploying a wide range of conversational applications.
As the destination for all things developer at Cisco, Cisco DevNet will provide resources so developers can more easily build and test conversational AI applications. In open-sourcing MindMeld and providing rich developer resources, we can build a robust developer community that will change the way we interact and get work done in our workplaces.
For more details, please see the following resources:
- Cisco DevNet MindMeld Page
- Github Code Repository on DevNet Code Exchange
- Cisco DevNet MindMeld Sandbox
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