Supporting 100,000 developers and beyond...

18 Apr 2017 community

In September 2013, we created Wit to make it easy for developers to add a natural language interface to their apps or devices. You can read more on our journey here. For the past 3.5 years, our community has kept growing. Today, we are pleased to announce that we’ve passed 100,000 developers in the Wit community building mobile apps, devices, robots, and bots for Messenger, Slack, Telegram, and other platforms!

Scaling

To cope with this outstanding growth (from 20,000 developers 12 months ago), we have been working a lot behind the scenes on scalability and stability by leveraging the Facebook stack. Now we are ready to scale and we will start improving our NLU algorithms by building on top of Facebook’s AI and NLP platforms.

We have learned a ton since the launch of Bot Engine last year. Bot Engine has an ambitious goal to learn conversation flows from examples. It is still in beta until it meets that goal. As an alternative, most of you have been using natural language understanding to extract structured data first, and then rely on custom code or other bot platforms to handle longer conversations.

Supporting Platforms

Speaking of bot platforms, since launching Wit.ai 3 years ago, we’ve been focused on arming developers with a solid API to build great experiences for their users. We’ve been heavily reliant on our web app to manage certain steps, such as creating a new app or validating expressions with several entities. Because of the strong network of developers that are a part of Wit.ai, we’ve seen more and more platforms being built on our API especially in the last 12 months… with the rise of chatbots. These platforms have been building their own web interface tailored for their use cases. In true hacking fashion, these platforms had to be very creative (i.e. reverse engineer Wit) to use the API behind the scenes.

Today we are updating our Wit.ai API to make it even easier for developers and platforms to understand natural language at scale.

  • POST /apps to create a new app
  • PUT /apps/:id to update the language or timezone of an existing app
  • POST /samples to validate expressions with multiple entities (trait and or keyword/free-text)

We are also reintroducing the N-Best feature. Simply put, it means that now Wit.ai will not just return the best intent, but a ranked list of several possible intents. This is especially helpful to implement a reformulation strategy if you’re implementing an FAQ: for an ambiguous query, your app could say “Did you mean X,Y or Z…”. It is also great to implement your own training mechanism: when Wit is not super confident, you could retrieve the 3 most relevant entities and let your user validate the correct one…

Please look at the HTTP API reference for more details. You can also check out the new github tutorial

This is indeed a first step, but if you’re thinking of building a platform on Wit, this should get you started. If you run across issues, please drop us a line!

Finally, we wanted to thank you for being a part of our community. Your energy, continuous enthusiasm and endless support have been a great source of motivation in this journey.

Team Wit