Frequently asked questions
This is one of the fields of artificial intelligence, which involves programming a machine to learn how to perform tasks by studying examples.
Unlike a chatbot, we’re not an intelligent assistant, and we don’t pretend to be human.
Agora’s conversational interface is specialized to the application to which it is connected (the application can be an object, a third-party application, or a business application).
Our job is to provide an application interface in natural language, enabling users to make requests and place orders, in several languages and over several channels, while remaining within a precise application context.
What are the characteristics of no-code orchestration by Agora?
The goal of no code automation is to give control of processes to business experts without requiring them to master software development techniques. This allows them to focus on defining, developing and maintaining the processes they are experts in, without the need to rely on software specialists, who are often busy with other tasks within the IT department.
To achieve this, no-code solutions offer simple and intuitive interfaces that describe the logic to be implemented: triggering conditions, actions to be taken when the conditions are met, etc.
Agora has designed a no code engine adapted to the definition of operational scenarios for business experts in enterprises and cities. The following points are worth mentioning:
- A playful, drag-and-drop interface that is simple enough to avoid a long learning curve and comprehensive enough to set up business scenarios that combine many conditions;
- It offers dynamic functions, with contextual parameter passing, etc. ;
- It allows the automation of natural language commands through the “Talkers” deployed in the workspace;
- It guarantees data consistency thanks to its atomicity properties;
- It works in real time;
The difficulties raised by the lack of interoperability within information systems are of two kinds:
- The ever-increasing variety of systems, devices, applications to be made to work together, each having its own interface (API) with its own formats, commands, parameters…
- The fracture between digital systems and their users: each solution has its own graphical interface, its dashboard, its dedicated application… The number of applications to load on a smartphone becomes excessive and often complicates the work of users.
To make all these elements interoperate, it is necessary to have a common language that is rich, scalable and durable. A first solution would be to define a posteriori this universal language; this is what many standardization bodies, manufacturers’ groups, etc. are working on.
Agora proposes another way: to generalize the use of the natural language, the one that humans have collectively defined and developed. Indeed this one presents many favorable characteristics:
- Rich, it allows to place commands (“open the door”) and to make requests (“what is the CO2 level?”);
- Flexible, it adapts easily to new situations (if you can do it, then you can say it);
- Intuitive, it allows many modes of expression: learning a language consists in mastering the rules of assembling words, not in learning “by heart” all the possible sentences (in almost infinite number);
- Natural, it reduces the gap between technical solutions and their users;
- Durable thanks to its fluidity, it is not about to go out of fashion, and its lifespan will be far superior to all technical standards and conventions;
- Common, it is the property of all and belongs to no one.
To benefit from the advantages of natural language and make digital systems interoperable, a number of technological challenges must be overcome. Agora’s NLP is the result of several years of research, conducted by our teams with the help of international specialists, and has been the subject of an academic publication. Its properties allow it to address the most constrained operational environments:
- High precision to cope with the ambiguities inherent to natural language, thanks to a contextual implementation;
- Deterministic, for high operational safety;
- Ultra-fast (a few milli-seconds);
- Lightweight, it can be integrated into edge functions, gateways and devices with Raspberry Pi-like computing resources
- Flexible, it is easily adaptable to new actions (“intent”), attributes, etc. and allows the easy handling of particular cases (jargons…);
- Multi-language, it detects the user’s language and facilitates interactions in international environments.
It is necessary that these platforms, applications, etc. be reachable, that is to say that they have a documented API (Application Programming Interface).
To each API corresponds a connector in the Agora solution, called vThing. The available vThings are published in a store directly accessible from the administration interface. This store is frequently completed by Agora (possibly on request), and if they wish by its customers themselves.
In the case where the APIs are accessible from outside the company, the vThings are directly instantiated in the Agora cloud platform. Otherwise, an edge mode allows the deployment of vThings in the environment of the company (for example in a DMZ).
Our solution is hosted in the cloud, at three different providers with load balancing and automatic reconfiguration in case of failure, to guarantee you permanent access.
We adapt to your governance, management and architecture. Whether you have your own in-house storage device or need to feed a storage system/data warehouse, we can direct the data collected/captured via our platform.
To date and for example we support French, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish…
And we know how to make the necessary adaptations for any new language you may need.
In this case, Agora Software will develop and add in the solution the interface with your application (vThing). This development usually takes only a few weeks.
Depending on the case, the development cost is paid by Agora or by the customer, or even shared. Contact us about this.
Depending on the application or equipment, it will be possible either to insert a gateway allowing a secure remote access, or to deploy a vThing (Docker container) in “edge” mode within your private network.
The communication between the vThing and the Agora platform is itself secured.
The diversity of applications is such that it’s pointless aiming to have them all in advance.
That’s why Agora’s other job is to make new connectors (vThings) available very quickly.
We take care of frequently used applications; and for those that are specific to your organization, we can either develop them for you, or provide the tools (SDK) to produce them yourself without much difficulty.
The ‘edge’ mode enables you to deport your connector (vThing) within your infrastructure, while allowing global control from the cloud. You provide the server, we provide the Docker container with its vThing.
Agora Software is present on most ‘stores’ of communication applications of digital workplace type (MS Teams, Google Workspace, Slack) or general public (Messenger, WhatsApp …).
All you have to do is select the application from these platforms and carry out a procedure to connect (PIN code, QR code…).