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Conversational Components – Yaki Dunietz, CoCo – Voice Tech Podcast ep.070

Yaki Dunietz Conversational Components

Episode description

As the voice industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds, conversational components stand out as a key development moving forward. What are these conversational components? Simply put, they are modular blocks of customizable, reusable conversational services, accessible via APIs that can fit together in a myriad of ways to form larger, conversational flows.

Conversational Components, known as CoCo are leading the charge with this modular-based component approach. In this episode, Yaki Dunietz, the company’s CEO, who has been working in conversational AI for more than 20 years, and Jason Gilbert, lead conversation designer at CoCo, who has designed text-to-voice experiences across a range of conversational channels, join us to share more about the company and its unique approach to chatbots.

We kick the show off by diving into CoCo’s service as a hub and directory for conversational components. We learn about how the components are accessed, vendor publishing, and how searches on the platform work. From there, we move onto how the bots handle queries, both in and out of context. It is vitally important for these bots to engage in small talk, which requires a few thousand smaller bots all to fire at the same time. Through increasing access, CoCo hopes to encourage collaboration and in doing so, propel developments in the space forward.

We round off the show by learning more about Yaki and Jason’s respective backgrounds and how it shaped their thinking, what it takes to build a bot’s personality, and what the future has in store for CoCo.


  • Learn about Conversational Components and the service they provide with components.
  • Find out how CoCo Hub, the marketplace, functions, and how searches work.
  • CoCo’s ‘meaning of life’ component and how it helps with potential deviations.
  • How bots are selected and the two ways that they are invoked.
  • The two possibilities for how intent resolution is handled.
  • Vendor side solutions: Adding your bot to CoCo and setting it up so it can be called.
  • The importance of chatbots having some personality and ‘humanness’ for users.
  • Some use cases and examples of how components on CoCo are deployed.
  • Why the modular-based component approach is the future of chatbots.
  • Find out why the big industry players will not be the ones leading change with chatbots.
  • Yaki’s background and what led him to work in conversational AI.
  • The problem with chatbots that are not made out of components.
  • Learn more about what it takes to achieve chatbot consistency on multiple levels.
  • Jason’s background, how his experience has influenced his work and big lessons learned.
  • The process to follow to create a personality for a bot from scratch or an existing character.
  • Opportunities in the field for increased personalization.
  • What’s on the horizon for CoCo in the next few months, in light of coronavirus.

Quotes from the show

[07:22] The component resides on the platform

[25:03] Good chatbots, and even good digital assistants, have personality

[43:16] Forging personality and character, creating a chatbot experience, is an artform

Links from the show

About the author

Carl Robinson
Carl Robinson

Carl is the host of the Voice Tech Podcast. Since launching in April 2018, Carl has conducted scores of in-depth interviews with voice industry experts, building one of the most well known media brands in the voice AI space.

He also publishes Voice Chops Tuesday, the number 1 voice technology newsletter, enjoyed by thousands of voice tech fans each week.

Carl is a startup founder, product manager and data scientist, and recently presented a model for voice emotion conversion at ICASSP 2019.

To contact Carl, use the links in this box to send an email, tweet or message.

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