This was the topic of a recent interview on the Mixergy podcast. But was it actually a chatbot? Initially, I got a little annoyed after listening to the interview. A few things became clear to me immediately: this was for a heavily promoted event involving some well known internet celebrities, meaning the sales may have been just as good even if they had sold those products without using chatbots the 1 hour window was due to opening up the shopping cart even as a live YouTube event was happening they were talking about not just Facebook push notifications, but rather combining it with the mobile wallet to get a lot of responses. Plus a complicated/sophisticated backend system that required significant […]
A reader asked me this question recently: Do you think the beta knowledge base within Dialogflow is useful? Or are their better ways in to implement a FAQ bot with Dialogflow? The quick answer is – yes, you can implement an FAQ bot using just regular intents.  Let us call these intent-based FAQ bots, and those built using the knowledge connector feature as knowledge-based FAQ bots. Dialogflow knowledge connectors is still a beta feature, but even when it becomes generally available , there are going to be some important differences between an FAQ bot created using plain intents vs an FAQ bot created using the knowledge connector. Knowledge connector FAQ bot limitations There are some limitations you should be […]
Recently, a reader sent me a message in which he said: A lot people mention you as one of the (main proponents) of the Dialogflow from scratch movement. While it is a pretty succinct phrase, I don’t think I am a proponent of Dialogflow from scratch. I am a proponent of building better Dialogflow bots 🙂 I don’t think it is just an aspirational phrase. To be very specific, I recommend people build their bots in such a way that the bot maker (the person who wants the bot to be built) balances three different aspects of the bot development process. The missing third dimension when evaluating low code tools In my view, Dialogflow is the best low code bot […]
This is a list of MUST KNOW Dialogflow features. Without learning about them, it is possible that you might be wasting a lot of time as you are building out your Dialogflow bot. 1 Dialogflow Bulk Operations I have noticed an interesting thing in Dialogflow’s user interface. They try quite hard to remove extrinsic stuff in order to make it more appealing for people who are new to Dialogflow to focus on the task at hand. There is, of course, a tradeoff when they do this. Sometimes features which should be somewhat obvious are hard to find unless people know where to look. A good example of this is doing bulk operations like batch delete on intents. Here are three […]
There are 4 concepts you MUST know when learning Dialogflow, plus an optional 5th one which is very important but in some cases may not be mandatory. 1 Intents The most important concept in Dialogflow is the concept of an intent. What is an intent? You create a Dialogflow agent by creating a list of “things that the user would like to do”. Here is what the list of things a user would like to do looks like for the Prebuilt SmallTalk Agent Now lets take a closer look at a single intent – the user wants the agent to answer a question. Here is how you declare the intent: While the other sections are important, for now just focus on […]
If you are building a Dialogflow prototype, there is a tool which can provide a tremendous boost to the speed at which you can create and manage your bot. The tool is called Airtable – which is like a combination of a spreadsheet and a database, and is easy to use for technical non-programmers. In this article, I am going to talk about how Airtable can speed up your Dialogflow prototype development workflow. Video table of contents with timestamps 1:02 | Airtable as database 2:30 | An example where I use Airtable as the database 3:08 | Airtable as CMS 4:00 | Example of using Airtable as a CMS 5:25 | Airtable is a better CMS for rich responses 6:30 | […]
I have created a Lesson Finder bot to help students search for specific lessons inside my course website. The interesting this is – this bot was automatically generated. Check out my YouTube playlist where I explain how you can do this.
I had an online conversation with someone recently and they referred to Chatfuel as a “lesser” platform for Dialogflow bots. This got me thinking, and I have created a video to explain my views on this topic. Video Notes Yes, I agree that it is a poor choice for NLU/AI bots (but great for pure rules-based bots) You can do the same integration without Chatfuel, but it requires more effort to get feature parity (obviously) Designing NLU conversation flows is harder You need to learn a second UI specification You have less control over your bot There is a problem of lock in ManyChat I don’t have the same experience with integrating ManyChat, but I have seen tutorials on how […]
Recently, I took a look at StackOverflow questions on the topic of Dialogflow. A lot of them were unanswered. Here are some stats when I last checked: 17 of the last 30 questions have 0 answers 27 questions had 0 votes, and 2 had negative votes Exactly 2 answers (of the 13 questions which have answers) have at least one upvote That third point is actually a pretty interesting stat, as it says that even when questions receive answers, they are not very helpful for the asker (well, plus sometimes the asker doesn’t upvote the answer) I think there are some important reasons why these questions are going unanswered, and they may be somewhat inherently difficult problems to solve. The […]
Some people have asked me if it is possible to programmatically create a new Dialogflow agent. Until recently, this wasn’t possible. But Dialogflow recently added a method to their v2 API which allows this.