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.