Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Zenbot?

Zenbot is an online natural language processing service and chat bot hosting.

What Can Zenbot Do?

Zenbot allows you to create Natural Language driven user interfaces for your application, website or messenger chat bot. So that you can create a Siri-like complex dialog interface for any type of application or website and accept user’s text or even voice input.

How Does It Work?

Zenbot matches each text request through a set of currently active patterns in your Botscript. A matched pattern can extend the current context and perform a set of actions in the context which will do some stuff. Then Zenbot returns one of the text output messages corresponding to this context, thus the user is walking through a natural language dialog in conversational manner.

How Much Does It Cost?

Zenbot is free for non-commercial use. No rate limits as well.

How Do I Get Started?

To make a new bot you have to create a Botscript which contains all data including the dialog with the user and actions Zenbot must perform.

What Do I Need to Know before Starting?

All you need to get started is to read about Botscript and look at some of our samples. You do not have to have any skills in programming or artificial intelligence disciplines.

How to Create a Botscript?

A Botscript is a set of simple XML formatted files. You can create it with any text editor you like, for example, Sublime Text or Windows Notepad.

How to Upload the Botscript to Zenbot?

Just go to the web console and create a new bot. Then you will be prompted to configure your Git repository. Each time you commit a new changeset, Zenbot automatically builds your bot.

How to Use Zenbot from My Application or Website?

Zenbot provides a REST API allowing you to make simple HTTP calls to integrate your application or website with your bot.

How to Integrate Zenbot with Facebook, Slack, Skype, Kik, WeChat or Telegram Bot?

Zenbot is already integrated with such messenger platforms as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, Kik, WeChat and Telegram. So, all you need to bind your Zenbot bot to these messengers is to provide your credentials in the web console.

Can Zenbot work with telephony channels?

Yes, you can connect your Zenbot's bot with telephony, making it talk with clients through the regular phone. Please read more about Voximplant integration.

Which Languages Are Supported?

Strictly speaking, Zenbot supports any language thanks to the flexible patterns syntax. So you can add user’s phrases in any language you wish.

But some of general concepts (like Numbers, Date and Time handling) are built in Zenbot and support only a particular set of languages, such as English, Spanish and Russian.

All of them are open source and you can contribute to and extend these items with your language as well.

What are the Differences between Zenbot and other platforms?

  • Zenbot implements a full stack of NLP techniques, not only user’s intent resolution.

    This means that you do not have to implement a user-to-machine conversation logic on your side. Zenbot proceeds each request, manages contexts of conversation, performs actions, evaluates scripts, collects and stores variables and generates output. Thus the client system just sends a text request and receives a complete response.

  • Your conversational logic is encapsulated in the single place.

    Thus you have not to distribute your code between the NLP service and your own application. Moreover, with Zenbot you have not to use any external servers to create any conversational bot. Zenbot even allows you to use Javascript on its side to implement some complex logic inside the bot.

  • Zenbot is based on the well-known pattern matching mechanism, instead of machine learning "magic".

    Pattern matching provides an NLP flexibility together with full control of the dialog system and easy to use entity extraction. Thus Zenbot takes data which is already prepared by a human and works as expected.

  • Zenbot doesn’t provide any web interface for dialog structure building.

    Such web interfaces are often more confusing than useful if you deal with complex dialogs. Thus Zenbot defines a simple XML file format, where you can describe such a dialog in for of nested contexts, and manage it as the source code of your bot through any version control system like Git.

What Are the Differences between Zenbot and AIML?

You may find some similarities between Botscript XML format and AIML. But these similarities take their source only in the file format. There are some major differences between Zenbot and AIML:

  • Zenbot provides much more powerful and flexible patterns syntax.
  • Zenbot enables your bot to easily extract, convert and collect named entities on the fly.
  • Zenbot has unique features such as dynamic context extending, context modality, dialog branching, conditions evaluation and more.
  • You can use custom Javascript code and HTTP requests to perform some actions right inside your Botscript.
  • Zenbot is not only a matcher, it provides a complete solution for natural language dialog processing with REST API and bot hosting.
  • Zenbot’s paradigm allows you to encapsulate all stuff related to the bot and NLP inside your bot on Zenbot servers, without separating these procedures between NLP system and your business logic.