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Abhishek Raj Simon
Abhishek Raj Simon

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Chatbot Terminology

Ever read an article that made you switch to Google and search for that secret programming word or jargon? Like you have no clue what the author is talking about in his post. This happened to me when I started coding my first Amazon Alexa Skill. If you are also one of those guys who is getting started with conversational AI, then this short read can be very useful to you. This post will help you understand the chatbot terminology in general that you will encounter in chatbot development, like Botpress.

  • Chatbot: A software application that mimics a human in terms of written or spoken language to simulate a human-like conversation.
  • Chatbot Builder: It's a platform or suite that can be used to build a chatbot with or without minimal coding.
  • Channel: It's a medium on which the chatbot is hooked to. Example: Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Website, etc.
  • AI: Artificial Intelligence means simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans and mimic their actions.
  • ML: Machine Learning is a part of AI. Machine learning algorithms build a model based on sample data, known as "training data", in order to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so.
  • NLU: Natural Language Understanding is a branch of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that transforms human language into a meaningful context that a machine can understand.
  • Intent: It signifies what the user wants to accomplish. Example: I want to book a flight.
  • Entities: It's a variable that complements the intent. Example: I want to book a flight from Montreal to Paris / Cities are entities because they are variables that can be extracted from the intent.
  • Slots: When you create an intent, you can tag different slots that can be used to extract the information required to act on the intent successfully. Example: I want to book a flight from New York to San Francisco for tomorrow. Your slots are the departing city, New York, the arrival city, San Francisco, and the date of departure, tomorrow.
  • Utterances: They represent the different ways an intent can be written by a user. It can take the form of a question, a command, or a statement. Example: Can you book me a flight? Book flight. I want to book a flight.
  • Flow: A series of logical steps put together to help a user to accomplish a goal.
  • Node: A step in a flow. They can be used to say something, to execute an action, to transition based on conditions, and more.
  • Start Node: The node where the flow begins. It's the first step of a user.
  • On enter: This is what happens when the user enters a node. Transition: This is composed of a condition and an action to be executed if the condition is met.
  • On receive: Action that happens after the user has said something

I hope this post on Chatbot Terminology will help you in your conversational AI journey.

Originally published at on May 21, 2021.

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