Message shaping

While the cognitive ability of Conversation is what sets it apart from other chat bots, the skills in message shaping can even the odds. It is a common technique used in customer support when you need to give a hard message. From a Conversation point of view, it allows you to dramatically reduce the level […]

New System Entities feature

If you have gone into your conversation service since yesterday, you will find you have a new feature called System Entities. For the moment you only have number, percentage  and currency recognition. For this introduction I am just going to use @sys-number entity to make Watson do simple math. First let’s train Watson about the […]

The road to good intentions.

So let’s talk about intents. The documentation is not bad in explaining what an intent is, but doesn’t really go into its strengths, or the best means to collect them. First the important thing to understand with intents. How Watson perceives the world is defined by their intents. If you ask Watson a question, it […]

Building a Conversation interface in minutes.

I come from a Java development background, but since joining Watson I’ve started using Python and love it.🙂 It’s like it was made for Conversation. The Conversation test sidebar is handy, but sometimes you need to see the raw data, or certain parts that don’t show up in the side bar. Creating a Bluemix application […]

Migrating from NLC and Dialog

For those of you who have been using NLC, you may be asking “Why bother to migrate?”. Well one advantage is that you can download the questions you put in. To migrate is painfully simple. Import your CSV file and you are done. Don’t touch the dialog section. Then for your JSON make sure you […]

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 […]