Since we first started using computers, we have dreamt of interacting with them in a more natural, human-like way using spoken language. Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have spiked an interest in natural language processing, and building conversational interfaces no longer is a dream, but a reality every developer can use in their own applications.
The problem of recognising spoken input has been largely solved, and the next challenge is how to build compelling user experiences that are modelled after natural human conversation.
In this talk, I will give an introduction to the Google Assistant and how to use Actions on Google to build conversational interfaces for devices with and without screens. We will take a look at how API.AI makes implementing natural language understanding feasible even for non-linguists, and discuss how you can integrate agents with existing backends. In conversation, it's all about being natural, so we will also look at how to create agents that feel like real characters.