Google launches Bot-in-a-Box to nudge along conversational AI

The new feature from Google Cloud makes it easier for businesses to launch chatbots using existing customer FAQs.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

The technology behind conversational AI has been developing quickly, and thanks in part to the pandemic, customers have readily embraced it. Even so, it can be difficult for businesses to get started with such tools, Google contends. To make it easier, the technology giant is launching what it calls "Bot-in-a-Box."

The new feature is part of Google's Business Messages, a conversational messaging service that allows organizations to connect with people via Google Search, Google Maps, or their own business channels. For instance, Albertsons used Business Messages to share information with customers about vaccine administration. Suppose someone searched on Google for Safeway (an Albertson's company). In that case, they could use the "message" button on Google Search to receive information like vaccine availability and how to book an appointment.

The new Bot-in-a-Box feature lets businesses launch a chatbot with an existing customer FAQ document, whether it's from a web page or an internal document, to keep the service simple. The feature uses Google's Dialogflow technology to create chatbots that can automatically understand and respond to customer questions without writing any code.

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