A conversational natural language engine allows humans and computers to converse in a natural way using typed messages. These messages may be exchanged using SMS, XMPP chat, email, or web-based chat.
Conversational interfaces are an improvement over form-filling interfaces for many applications. One of the best known examples of this is the input box on Google calendar where you can type something like '10:20 meeting at Larry's' and it will create a meeting starting at 10:20 and will set the location to 'Larry's'. This particulare example is a hybrid interface where a conversational element has been integrated into a traditional form-based interface. A pure conversation interface is often called a 'chatbot'.
Conversational interfaces are particularly well suited to mobile applications where the small screen, tiny keyboard and lack of a mouse makes traditional form-filling a tedious and error prone experience.
Consider for example the simple request
what orders did we receive last month on a friday after 4pm. What would the dialog look like
to specify a query like that? What if, instead, your users could simply enter what they are looking for? That's what a
conversational natural language engine can do for your business.
NLP is hard
General purpose NLP is a really hard problem but for a specific application domain (like CRM integration, product support, home automation, ...) it's possible to define a sufficiently large recognition base that you can provide a good experience to your users. This library is focused on providing you the tools you need to create such domain specific chatbots or to add natural language capable input boxes to your traditional forms-based applications.
Applications for conversational natural language processing include command and control applications (e.g. home automation, lighting control, heating control), remote data entry and querying (e.g. mobile CRM, business intelligence, ...), remote monitoring.
Software and Licensing
This Natural Language engine will soon be available for download and integration in your .NET projects. For personal, non-commercial projects there is no charge. For use in commercial applications and for any consulting requirements please contact me.