Chatbots, Conversational User Interfaces, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing Expert. Book author — Hands On Chatbots and Conversational UI.

Measuring chatbot performance beyond traditional metrics and software testing methods

How do you test a Conversational AI solution? How do you evaluate if your chatbot is fit to be deployed to face your customers? Out of all the types of Natural Language Processing systems like Machine Translation, Question Answering Systems, Speech recognition, Speech synthesis, Information Retrieval, etc., Conversational AI is the most challenging one to measure. Conversations are not one-shot tasks. They are multi-turn and whether a conversation succeeded or failed is not easily apparent. …


A review of 4 defining Conversation AI systems that we saw in 2020

2020 is over! What a roller-coaster ride that was?!

Conversational AI systems progressed a lot in 2020. Certainly, as the pandemic started, we saw many chatbots built to deal with the need to provide reliable and trustable health and safety information to people. Many governmental organisations took to chatbots on popular channels like Whatsapp to disseminate authentic information.

A robot with a speech bubble showing conversational skills.
A robot with a speech bubble showing conversational skills.
Photo by 수안 최 on Unsplash

A new set of conversational AI systems made their mark in 2020. These were based not on traditional rule based architecture for conversational flow. Instead they used deep learning…


Chatbots are everywhere now! By chatbots, I usually talk about all conversational AI bots — be it actions/skills on smart speakers, voice bots on the phone, chatbots on messaging apps, or assistants on the web chat. All of them have the same underlying purpose — to do as a human agent would do and allow users to self-serve using a natural and intuitive interface — natural language conversation.

Wall-e robot
Wall-e robot
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

If you breakdown the design of conversational AI experience into parts, you will see at least five parts — User Interface, AI technology, Conversation design, Backend integration, and Analytics. If you are…


Finding a new vision for Conversational AI

Have you ever finished a conversation with a friend not realising how much time you have talked or all the other stuff that had been going on in the space around you two? This feeling of being in a state of flow is what I am going to call — Conversational Singularity.

Conversational Singularity is a state of flow that is achieved during conversation that dissolves the duality of conversational partners and creates a unified singular experience.

They can talk for hours and still not realize that time has passed. They exchange info…


How can chatbots become truly intelligent by combining five different models of conversation?

Conversational AI is all about making machines communicate with us in natural language. They are called using various names — chatbots, voice bots, virtual assistants, etc. In reality, they may be slightly different to each other. However one key feature that ties them all together is their ability to understand natural language commands and requests from us-human users.

In the back-end, these agents will have to deal with carrying out the request and engage in a conversation. …


How to solve world’s wicked problems?

A pile of gears showing the parts of a system
A pile of gears showing the parts of a system
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/abstract-art-circle-clockwork-414579/

Systems Thinking is a way of thinking about ourselves and our place in the world. It is about understanding that the things we see in the world are all inter-connected and therefore influence each other. It is a way to look at the whole and not just the parts that make up the whole. Systems Thinking prods us to see the deeper connections and influences in the world as we begin to identify problems and devise solutions. It helps us to solve complex problems without creating new ones.

Watch this video to get started..


What is NLP and how does it make machines smarter at communication?

One of the first things that fascinated me in Artificial Intelligence is for a computer having the ability to speak and have a conversation with humans. When I saw C-3P0 speak on a giant screen, way back when I was a kid, I was mesmerized. I probably didn’t realise it was fake back then, but I wanted in. I wanted to build robots that can speak, that can take instructions, that can have an engaging conversations with me.

C3PO from Starwars — one of the first fictional robots that could engage in human conversation.
C3PO from Starwars — one of the first fictional robots that could engage in human conversation.
C3Po by Ben Waardenburg

Here I am now, in my almost 40s, still building…


A series of stories on how to design great conversational AI experiences using insights from psychology, human-centered design, and design thinking. Hope you find these useful.

Over the years, I have written a series of articles on various aspects of chatbot design. Here they are, all indexed in one place:

Towards Conversational Singularity

Finding a new vision for Conversational AI

5 Models for Conversational AI

How can chatbots become truly intelligent by combining five different models of conversation?

Natural Language Processing — Simplified

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP) and how does it make machines smarter at communication?

The psychopathology of chatbots

Designing usable conversational AI solutions using human centered design.

Designing chatbots for failure

Why users say unexpected things and…


Designing usable conversational AI solutions using human centered design

A robot hand reaching out as if to shake the user’s hand.
A robot hand reaching out as if to shake the user’s hand.
Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

How can we design products that will delight users and gain their acceptance? Don Norman is a world-renowned expert in Human Centered Design and in his best-selling book ‘The Design of Everyday Things’, he introduced several concepts that can help designers pay attention to the nuances in the human world. Most of these concepts relate to how users perceive the things we design, how they interact and how they create a model of the product in their heads. The book draws upon several disciplines like behavioural sciences, psychology, ergonomics, and identifies the priciples of good human centered design. …


So what’s the difference between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)? Everyone seems to be using these two phrases interchangeably. However in popular media, AI is being used synonymously with ML. Are they actually the same concept? Do they refer to the same thing? Let me explain.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Adam Lukomski on Unsplash

Technically, the answer is no. Let’s go back a few decades to get a bit of context. Artificial Intelligence concerns itself with all things that has got to do with making computing systems intelligent. Since the early days of AI (say 1950s), it has comprised of many tasks— recognising images, understanding language…

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