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kittai11KITT.AI is rolling out its newest flagship product.

KITT.AI co-founder and CEO Xuchen Yao, and co-founder Guoguo Chen.
KITT.AI co-founder and CEO Xuchen Yao, and co-founder Guoguo Chen.

Available today in beta, ChatFlow is a multi-platform framework for creating conversational agents, also known as chatbots. It provides a drag-and-drop interface that lets developers code and deploy chatbots that can exist directly within apps like Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Kik, Skype, Twilio, and Slack.

“ChatFlow’s conversational engine solves many pain points of developing a natural language dialogue system: managing dialogue context, tracking dialogue states, planning/drawing a dialogue diagram, etc.,” said KITT.AI co-founder and CEO Xuchen Yao.

Chatbots, which have received much attention and hype over the past year, are designed to help people be more productive and improve efficient communication between businesses and customers. The technology sometimes provides a better interface than using a separate app or website.

Here’s a bit more on how ChatFlow works:

KITT.AI, originally incubated inside Paul Allen’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), launched last year and in January landed funding from Founders’ Co-op and Amazon’s Alexa Fund. It also received investment from Madrona Venture Group. The startup currently consists of its three co-founders, but is looking to hire employees and raise additional funding soon.

In May, KITT.AI rolled out its first software toolkit called Snowboy, which lets developers add verbal “hotword detection” to devices. The startup optimized Snowboy last month to allow third-party developers outside of Amazon to use the “Alexa” wake word to turn on their devices.

KITT.AI previously developed a prototype called Semantic Lighting based on its technology — letting people interact with smartlights by talking with them — demonstrating the early capabilities of its natural language processing platform.

Yao is a Johns Hopkins University PhD graduate who joined the AI2 in May 2015. The startup’s other co-founders are Guoguo Chen, a deep learning and speech recognition expert who created the “OK Google” hotword detection prototype for Android; and Kenji Sagae former professor of Natural Language Processing at USC and an expert in natural language parsing and dialogue systems.

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