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Chatbot Success: How to Save Time, Money & Effort in Customer Interactions

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Chapter 4

Understanding Intent

To kick off, it’s important to understand some of the language we use when describing how an AI-powered Chatbot works. The most important concept involved is ‘Intent’.

Put simply, an intent is the intention behind a question. It represents a purpose or a goal, such as booking a flight, paying a bill, or finding a news article. Each industry will have its own natural universe of intents, and each company within will have its own as well.

Be aware that of the questions your customers commonly ask, there will be an intent behind each. Well-trained AI-powered Chatbots are great at working out the intent behind a question asked, regardless of how it’s phrased. For example, a Chatbot should be able to work out that “How much is my bill?” and “What payment do I need to make” mean the same thing – as the intent behind the differently-worded questions is the same.

While you’ll need to program your Chatbot to give it an initial idea of these differently-worded questions that represent the same intent, the beauty of machine learning is that over time, your Chatbot will be able to correctly identify new examples of the same intent that are outside of its original programming.

There’s more to the AI magic than intents, but that’s the principle concept you need to understand at this point. If you want to learn more about the basics check out this post on medium.com.