The following is a short interview with Succinctly series author Ed Freitas, whose latest book Microsoft Bot Framework Succinctly was published on Tuesday, May 2. You can download the book here.
What should people know about the Microsoft Bot Framework? Why is it important?
Microsoft has been driving their AI initiative at all levels. This started off at Build 2016, and in this year’s event, the push toward “intelligent” services, APIs, and frameworks has increased. The Bot Framework is an integral part of that AI strategy, and it is a way for companies to leverage AI capabilities with Cognitive Services to provide users with a rich and interactive conversational experience. It is important because AI-powered frameworks like the Bot Framework have the potential to do for companies what the app revolution did for consumers. Users want to be where they are used to being, using the apps and services they love, and conversationally aware solutions enable that.
When did you first become interested in the Microsoft Bot Framework?
As soon as I heard about it at Build 2016. It immediately captured my total attention.
By writing this e-book, did you learn anything new yourself?
Before writing the book, bots were some sort of “ghost” in the computer to me, but as I started to delve into the subject the various parts of the technology and framework became incredibly crisp and clear. The learning process was invaluable and continues to this day. The Bot Framework is among my top five technologies and continues to inspire my work. I would love to write another book for Syncfusion on how to augment this further by using Azure Cognitive Services, which is the next step in AI services available from Microsoft.
How will this subject change over the next few years?
I envision more connectors, APIs, and services being integrated in the near future into the framework. Furthermore, this fabric will become increasingly integrated in everyday products such as Office 365 and Skype. As advances in AI continue to take shape, the Bot Framework could potentially become a vital part of the Microsoft stack and even become integrated into Windows itself.
Do you see the subject as part of a larger trend in software development?
For sure! Absolutely no doubts about that. This is part of a set of augmented AI services and a key strategy and differentiation for not only Microsoft, but for the whole industry going forward. AI is the next big thing.
What other books or resources on this topic do you recommend?
I particularly recommend Designing Bots: Creating Conversational Experiences by Amir Shevat as it explains the foundations of how to build fluent conversational experiences and what factors to take into account.
Ed Freitas can be contacted through his website, edfreitas.me.