DialogFlow | NodeJS | Webhooks

Deploy NodeJS Webhook to Google Cloud

This tutorial was a series of posts which was first published in October 2017. There have been many updates in Google Cloud after this tutorial was first created, so it may not be the best learning resource for this topic. A couple of things to note: almost certainly, the interface will look different today and the screenshots may not be up to date whenever I ask you to click on a certain link, it is understood that you are already logged in to your Google account (that is, many of these links take you directly to specific feature pages inside the Google Cloud Console) If you would like me to update this tutorial, please leave a comment below. If I…

DialogFlow | Firebase

Dialogflow Firebase Tutorial

This tutorial was originally published in November 2017, so it is actually more than 2 years old. Cloud Firestore was still in beta when I published it (now it is out of beta). In that time, a lot of things have changed in Firebase, so this may not be the best resource for learning this topic. I have consolidated the old tutorial into a single page and left the contents mostly as they were. Obviously this article is due for an update but I am not sure how many people are interested. If I get at least 10 comments requesting me to update this tutorial, I will do it. 🙂 Introduction This guide will explain how you can use Firebase…

Conversation Design | DialogFlow

How to debug your Dialogflow bot

I recently got feedback from a reader. He was answering a question about a tool which Dialogflow should have but doesn’t. Debugging of dialog flow , which is very important tool that should be there Now, I don’t think you can “debug” Dialogflow by setting breakpoints the same way you would when writing code, at least not yet. But there are a few things you should learn about when you try to debug your Dialogflow bot. Learn the basics The first step is to learn Dialogflow itself systematically. It is a very good example of investing some additional time up front, and saving yourself hours/days/weeks in the future. In my view, the best way to learn Dialogflow systematically is to go…

DialogFlow | Natural Language Generation

Client Question: Can I use GPT2 for my Dialogflow bot?

Recently, one of my clients asked me if it is possible to use GPT2 for his Dialogflow bot. Short answer: probably not. Natural Language Generation (NLG) GPT2 is a machine learning model (and associated code) which can automatically write text. Here is the official definition: The text is grammatically correct, too. Often you will find it hard to distinguish between something written by GPT2 and human-generated prose if you don’t know anything about the subject. 🙂 Two types of chatbots There are primarily two types of chatbots. Task led bots – the kind of bots that you usually create in Dialogflow. Here, there is a specific task that the user wants to do, and your bot will help and guide…

DialogFlow

15 things all Dialogflow bot makers should know

Here are a list of things that I would like to tell anyone who is getting started with Dialogflow. Things all Dialogflow bot makers should know Note: These are not in any particular order 🙂 Scripted NLU powered chatbots are different from scripted bots. This means a Chatfuel bot can never do what a Dialogflow bot can. Regex Regex entities have already been added into Dialogflow. Please start using them and don’t reinvent the wheel. Initiate conversation You cannot really have Dialogflow initiate the conversation. Even in those cases it seems possible, something much more complex is going on under the hood. Website chatbot Dialogflow has a 1-click integration which lets you add a chatbot to your website. Unfortunately, the…

Autogenerated Bots | DialogFlow

Autogenerating FAQ bot from training text

Many clients and students have asked me if there is any way they can start from a list of sentences and “automatically” convert it into a Dialogflow agent. I have created a course which can help you do that. The course also includes a Python script which implements this concept. It is a very practical course as you can actually use this script on your existing sentences.txt file and generate a CSV file which can then be used within my CSV Importer tool. In other words, you will be able to start with nothing more than a list of sentences in your text file and get an actual Dialogflow agent ZIP file at the end of the process.  The idea…

Conversation Design | DialogFlow

A MUST read article on Dialogflow training phrase quality

Recently, Google published a very interesting article on how you can assess the quality of the training phrases inside your Dialogflow agent. In my view, if you are at all interested in building a Dialogflow agent, it is a MUST READ. Note: You do need a fairly good programming background, plus some basic understanding of concepts such as “word vectors” to understand that article. So maybe the person who will read it is the programmer on your team. But here is the gist of it: you should maximize cohesion as well as separation in your intents. In this context, what is cohesion and what is separation? Instead of repeating what is already mentioned in that article, I will just highlight…

DialogFlow | Training

Using Collect.chat for preNLU bots

In a previous article, I talked about why it would be a good option to use a rules-based, conditional logic bot as a “pre NLU” bot before you build out your actual NLU-based website chatbot. A good option for this is Collect.chat. I tried out the Collect.Chat service for a month (I chose the Standard plan – $49/month so I could experience the entire set of features) and I really liked it. There are also other similar services, and while I haven’t compared them all, I have very little hesitation in recommending Collect.chat for creating your preNLU bot. Note: the link above is an affiliate link, but I am recommending the service because I believe it is best-in-class for the…

DialogFlow | Knowledge Connector

Getting the top 3 (or top N) intents in Dialogflow: An experiment

I occasionally see people asking for a way to get top N intents in Dialogflow. That is, Dialogflow already provides the “best match” intent for a user’s utterance, and includes a confidence score along with that match. Is it possible to also know the next 2 best intents and their confidence scores? (Note that this feature is already offered by other bot frameworks). An experiment In a way, the knowledge connector feature was created to solve this problem (or at least that is one of the benefits of using it). So here is one way you could implement this for intents: Create a new Dialogflow agent Turn every training phrase from your original agent into a knowledge base question. The…

DialogFlow | Entity

Dialogflow Regexp (regular expression) entity

Dialogflow recently introduced the regular expression entity. In the video below, I explain how to use it. Note: while the video is part of a mini-course, this specific video is completely self-contained. You don’t have to purchase the mini-course to follow this video. How to use the Regexp entity Testimonial for the mini-course: This course was invaluable for me and my team members to get hands on knowledge as to how Reg Exp works. Especially since DF documentation is so limited and this is a very new feature. I would (recommend this course) , especially for non-programmers. Aravind shows clear examples, and gives suggestions on what to be cautious of. – Christina A

DialogFlow | Use Cases

Using Dialogflow for educational bots

Recently, a few people asked me about using Dialogflow for educational bots. I don’t think the technology is quite there yet. This is, of course, a personal opinion. But it is backed by three things: I have a fairly extensive course website with a lot of material on Dialogflow. Students are requesting me for easier ways to find useful material, and if I could build a bot for that purpose, I would. I have already spent some time thinking about and building different kinds of automatically generated bots. I get plenty of questions from readers of this website. Reader questions provide a good insight into the kind of questions people ask and how they are structured. So this post is…

DialogFlow | Messenger Bots

Chatbot makes $3 million in sales in 1 hour

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…