Twilio Studio — IVR and Chat Bots

I’ve used Twilio for a while for pro­gram­mat­i­cal­ly send­ing and receiv­ing SMS mes­sages. There’s also a visu­al edi­tor called Stu­dio that can be used to make call and mes­sage flows:

It can be con­nect­ed to Twilio Autopi­lot to make AI-pow­ered bots. Tasks are trained with sam­ple phras­es. These sam­ple phras­es are vari­a­tions on what would be said to trig­ger an action e.g. ‘Call recep­tion,’ ‘Front desk,’ ‘Talk to a human.’

An exam­ple that comes to mind, is mak­ing a call han­dling sys­tem for an office. Rather than a voice menu that details each option fol­lowed by a num­ber, the caller could sim­ply say who they want­ed to talk to or what their request was about, and the sys­tem would han­dle it. This is far more respect­ful of the caller’s time com­pared to hav­ing them lis­ten to a long list of choices.

It works with SMS and voice calls, and seems a good way to build an IVR (Inter­ac­tive Voice Menu) sys­tem. TwiML can be used for more com­pli­cat­ed tasks, while still using Studio/Autopilot. The pric­ing is a lit­tle high­er than if you were to use a self-host­ed sys­tem, but there are so many com­pli­cat­ed func­tion­al­i­ties it seems well worth pay­ing the extra, as it would save time and reduce complexity.

I built a remote con­trolled car that used Twil­io’s cell­phone ser­vice. You can read about it here.