Dealing with off topics.

When building a conversational system, how you handle off topics tends to swing one way or the other for people new to it. They either totally forget about handling chit-chat/off topic. This leads to the system feeling stupid to the end user, even if it has a high accuracy. Or feeling like a search engine. […]

Using counters in Conversation.

In Watson Dialog the use of counters was pretty easy. In Conversation it is as well, but not as intuitive yet. Here I am going to explore three methods of building and using a counter. First to create a counter, you need to go to advanced mode in your node. You can then type in […]

Watson Virtual Agent

Just released today. This is a SaaS that sits on top of Conversation. It allows a non-developer to easily set up a chat bot using predefined intents for common issues. With the ability to have the UI all ready for you, along with detailed metrics on how users are interacting with your virtual agent. The […]

Treat me like a human.

So one of the main pitfalls in creating a conversational system is assuming that you have to answer everything, no matter how bad it is. In a real life conversation we only go so far. If you attempt to answer every question the user stops talking and treats the conversation system more like a search […]

What is your name?

Asking a persons name in Conversation allows you to personalise responses later on. However actually getting a name from a person which looks good in personalisation is quite hard. First thing to consider is how you ask the question. Take these examples. What is your name? Can I get your name? How do you like […]

Tools of the trade – UltraEdit

So I use a number of applications to help in building and testing Watson. But the main ones I use are as follows. Ultraedit SPSS Modeller Excel Languages: Java and Python iPad (no seriously :)) I want to touch on UltraEdit for this one. I primarily use it for the following. Making mass fixes to […]

Handling low confidence answers in Conversation.

So I will be switching between, newbie to expert in no particular order. This post assumes you already know how to use conversation. In earlier versions of Watson, it was designed to handle high, medium and low confidence answers in different ways. With conversation this all works a little bit differently. For this example, I […]

Do you even need a chat bot?

With everyone rushing out to create bots, I am reminded of the Jurassic Park quote: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should”.  Despite what people will tell you, conversation or chat bots for that matter are not needed for everything. For example where a simple web […]

Clean Slate

It’s been a couple of years since I last touched the blog. I thought I would start from scratch. I have everything backed up in case someone is looking for something (stats say otherwise). I thought I would focus on conversational bots, as most of my work has been in this area. Mainly Watson related […]