Build an advanced, in-house NLU system without an extensive research team

Meekan switched from the cloud-based API Microsoft LUIS to their own in-house NLU with Rasa

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The Challenge

Meekan, one of the most successful Slack bots, uses natural language understanding to understand user priorities in scheduling meetings. Initially, the company relied on LUIS, a cloud API by Microsoft, for turning text into intents and entities. However, this approach created two major challenges for the growing company:

  • No potential for customization to improve performance with Meekan’s specific domain of scheduling
  • No ‘ownership’ of their AI, depriving them of a strategic advantage over their competitors. Furthermore, the data remains with Microsoft, improving their models.

Meekan wanted to take their NLU in-house, but didn’t have the resources to build LUIS from scratch.

The Solution

After evaluating different solutions, Meekan adopted Rasa’s toolkit. Rasa provides the ability to customize and take full control of their NLU without a big research team. Using the fast migration guide, Meekan went from idea to production in four weeks - importing the existing training data from LUIS directly. After a few tweaks and internal tests, the NLU model was ready; the switch to Rasa was done without interruption for end users.

The Results

Meekan overcame the challenges associated with LUIS by successfully implementing Rasa:

  • Achieving better NLU results by tailoring underlying algorithms to their domain
  • Establishing a competitive advantage by owning their training data and underlying technology.

Meekan also decreased the latency period, meaning faster response times at scale.

We recently switched from LUIS (Microsoft) to Rasa to be in full control of our AI: we can tweak the performance, we know where the data is going, and we can scale up without worrying about surprise bills

Eyal Yavor, CTO Meekan
Eyal Yavor, CTO Meekan

Industry: Productivity

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Employees: 10

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