March 29, 2017
With API.AI, our goal is help you create high quality and engaging agents. Today we’re taking that goal to the next step, adding some new features that will make it easier to build great agents across all of our supported platforms.
Natural human dialogs are filled with follow-ups and confirmations for example:
Agent: Your cab can meet you at the corner of 5th and Broad street in 12 mins.
User: Ahh, can you repeat that please?
Agent: Do you want fries with that?
User: Sure, sounds good, thanks
Follow-up intents make these types of natural conversation flows easy to build and customize. With this new feature of API.AI you can define dialog situations that may follow any given “parent” intent you are currently working on.
While you can also do this (and much more) by manually defining Contexts, follow-up intents make the process of building sample dialogs easier by being more visual. We’ve thought of some of the most popular follow-up scenarios and taken care of building contexts for you automatically.
To start building Follow-up intents, click “Add follow-up intent” link and select one of the common follow-up options (such as confirmation, request to learn more, selection, etc.) or choose the option “Custom intent” to build a new unique follow-up. Common follow-up options contain pre-populated training examples that could be changed or augmented with phrases specific to your agent.
Finally, in the API.AI console Follow-up intents are nested under parent intents which makes it easier to see your agent conversation structure.
Building an advanced agent covering a comprehensive set of intents and entities can often be challenging even for the most skilled developer. Prebuilt Agents can help - they are free sample agents that are built by the API.AI team that utilize most of the API.AI platform’s capabilities. You can either use them as they are or modify them as needed to jump start building your own conversational agent.
So, if you are working in travel space, for example, you can use Flights Prebuilt Agent with built-in intents like, “Find a flight from Dublin to Copenhagen on July 16, returning July 23, for 2 people”, and follow-ups like “Actually, returning July 25”. Other agents available include booking, support, weather, TV, music player, and more.
Feel free to import any of the Prebuilt Agents to your account and reuse parts of it by copying intents and entities to your agent or augmenting the imported agent itself.
We will be rolling out new Prebuilt Agents regularly and will be happy to hear what agents you’d be interested to see next.