How to build AI applications using Laravel?
Laravel, a well-known PHP framework used for web app development, can now utilize the power of AI by leveraging multiple ways of connection such as an SDK or API to integrate the AI applications or by using available Laravel packages.
Since most of the AL and ML libraries are written in Python, the best way is using necessary ML libraries to create an API server that can also communicate with your Laravel database for accessing the data.
Here is how you can do this –
- Build your AI or machine learning model in an appropriate ML library and your web application running with Laravel (PHP).
- The better way to design this type of application is considering micro-services architecture (such as gRPC) where your services communicate with each other with some RPC (remote procedure call) client. All you need to do is implement the gRPC client for Laravel and use it to talk to the serving environment.
- It also allows you to update your ML model on a regular basis independent of the Laravel application.
Other Ways To Build AI Applications Using Laravel
Laravel PHP can be used to build Artificial Intelligence bots on Slack, Telegram, and Facebook platforms without much hassle. Here is how you can do it on Telegram –
Creating simple chatbots for Telegram with Laravel and BotMan
Bots generally are of two types –
- Virtual assistants
- Messaging apps
While virtual assistants are mainly powered by machine learning and can use the information and learn from patterns, messaging apps are capable of interacting with users only by following pre-programmed rules.
Below are the steps you can use to create simple chatbots on the Telegram platform.
a. Register your bot
The first step to create a Telegram bot is to register your bot, name it, get your own token access, and save it in a safe place.
b. Build backend system
The next step is to build a backend system using the Laravel framework. You can also use an additional package such as BotMan at this stage to create a bot easily.
BotMan is a framework agnostic PHP library that simplifies the task of developing innovative bots for various platforms. Apart from multiple-platform support such as Telegram, Slack, Nexmo, chat, etc., BotMan comes with the boilerplate project in Laravel.
The command to be used to create a project is –
$ composer create-project mpociot/botman-laravel-starter currencybot
c. Finish making your own bot
Once you type the test, you will be able to see a ‘hello!’ response from your bot.
Here’s the sample output of the program –
$ PHP artisan BotMan: tinker
Now to make your bot and other AI-based applications more useful, you need to build some public API.
In the next section, you can learn how to build API in Laravel PHP.
Building API In Laravel PHP
Laravel is a popular PHP web application framework with an elegant syntax that follows the MVC or model–view–controller architectural pattern. The framework strives to save developer time by favoring convention over configuration. Laravel framework also aims to evolve with the web and has incorporated various new features in the web development space, including job queues, real-time communication, API authentication, and much more.
API resources were first introduced in the latest version of Laravel- 5.5. Before the API resources, the developers often used a package like fractal as a transformation layer to output JSON responses while building REST APIs.
Here we are discussing the steps to build a robust API in Laravel using API resources. But before we begin, it is important to understand what exactly is considered a RESTful API.
REST or REpresentational State Transfer is essentially an architectural style for network communication between applications, which relies on a stateless protocol (usually HTTP) for interaction.
In the case of RESTful APIs, HTTP verbs are used as actions, and the endpoints are the resources acted upon.
PHP Neural Network
PHP neural network is a RESTful API using Laravel 5.2. framework and Fast Artificial Neural Network library. The project typically uses JSON Web Tokens for stateless authorization and follows JSend Specs for all responses.
The neural network has trained data already included in it, but you can also retrain the neural network with your own configuration parameters. This project essentially uses Composer to install dependencies. Further, you will also need to install the Fast Artificial Neural Network library or reconfigure the environment variables for your database of choice.
Now let’s have a look at steps for building a PHP RESTful API with Laravel –
- Create a new Laravel app
This can be done using a Composer update. Composer is primarily a tool for dependency management in PHP and is the simplest way to create a Laravel project.
Alternatively, you can also install Composer globally, which will allow you to issue commands from anywhere on your system.
2. Hook up the database
For this application, you can use SQLite. To run SQLite locally, you only need a blank file in the database folder.
3. Create a database model, table and controller
The next step is to set up your database connection. Find the .env file within the root of your project directory. If it is hidden, use one of the following:
- Finder (macOS): press ‘command’ + ‘shift’ + ‘.’
- Terminal (macOS): type ‘ls -a’
4. Add routes
Once you have a database, you need to be able to access your data and serve up JSON. These are defined in routes/api.php.
5. Define the actions in the controller
Once you have route endpoints set up, you need to actually do things when users make API calls.
The last step is to create and write the tests.
Advancements and New Features Within Laravel
Laravel is one of the most popular frameworks which any great developer can contribute to, thanks to its MIT license. The latest version of the framework Laravel v7 is loaded with multiple exciting features, including several bug fixes and usability improvements. Some of these are discussed below –
- Route Caching Speed Improvements
There have been significant improvements made in Laravel version7 with regards to route caching speeds. With Laravel v7, irrespective of the size of the application, there is a 2x speed improvement compared to Laravel 6.
- Blade Component Tags And Improvements
One of the other powerful features of this framework is its own personal templating engine, called Blade, which develops no performance overheads in your website.
With Laravel version 7, the Blade components allow component classes, inline view components, tag-based rendering, attribute management, and much more.
- Laravel Airlock
The new Airlock feature in Laravel v7 gives a strong authentication system to token-based APIs, single-page applications, and mobile apps. The Airlock feature also allows every user of an application to generate multiple API tokens and is extremely useful for the effective creation and management of tokens.
- HTTP Client
To further enhance developer experience, the new Laravel v7 version has an improved HTTP client. With the help of a minimal API, the various functionalities of the Guzzle HTTP client are enhanced.
- Multiple Mail Drivers
With the new Laravel version, it has become possible to configure multiple mailers for a single application. Since each mailer configured within an application has unique options and transport, the application can easily send specific emails using different email services.
The Way Ahead
An increasing number of businesses today are looking to integrate innovative solutions such as chatbots on their websites to offer better services to their customers. Using technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver fast responses to customer queries helps them in boosting their conversions significantly. However, developers find it quite complex to develop robust AI-based applications such as personal chatbots without proper support.
To overcome this, Laravel development services is an excellent solution that developers can use and create powerful platforms and implement AI with Laravel. Considered as one of the best PHP frameworks, Laravel holds strong prominence in the market today. The key reasons for its ever-increasing popularity in the larger developer community are its simplicity and functionality.
Laravel has picked the best processes and practices, which make it a very nice framework with stand out features that include routing, a manageable testing framework, an interactive command-line console, a dependency manager, and a robust MVC hierarchy. The usage of Laravel AI has increased manifold in recent times as it is embraced in multiple web-related projects for varied industries and businesses. Owing to the excellent range of features, Laravel AI application solutions are going to further evolve continually in the future, driven by ample demand all over the world.