This is the first in a series of posts I am calling "Must Know Dialogflow Concepts".
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 the section called "Training Phrases" and then the section called "Text Response".
Here is the basic idea:
What is so special about this?
The special thing is - even if the user were to say a phrase which is a variant of what is already in the training phrase, Dialogflow can usually provide a response from the list of text responses.
Here is an example:
The phrase "I want an answer to my question" does not exactly match any of the training phrases. But Dialogflow understands that it is close enough. And accordingly, it will provide a response from the list of text responses.
So an intent is a way of specifying what the user wants to do ("intention") and then providing an appropriate response.