NLU Management

How to manage your Assistant's NLU data.

Managing Data

Where to manage your NLU data types in your Voiceflow Assistant project.

NLU Manager

The NLU Manager is the core view on your Assistant project for view, editing, and optimizing your NLU data. In addition to providing more real estate to handle larger NLU models for your project, there are also a collection of features you'll find here to expand and optimize your NLU models data and performance.

A reminder that NLU (Natural language understanding) is focused on your conversation's ability to understand the human language.

All the data that you create here can be utilized in your designs in:

  • Intent Steps
  • Capture Steps
  • Choice Steps(voice projects only)
  • Button Steps (chat projects only)

Note: Intents, Entities and Variables created in the NLU Manager are available globally within the project.

You can navigate directly to this view with keyboard shortcut '2'.

Model Quickview

The NLU Model (Keyboard-Shortcut M) or Model Quickview lets you easily create, view and manage data for your project’s interaction model.

More specifically for your project, the NLU Model is how your conversational experience understands & handles how the user will interact and respond in your experience.

Before your can process unstructured responses/text (utterances) into actions or outcomes in your conversation, your NLU Model needs to be defined in order to understand the peculiarities of what your user will say.

Tip: NLU refers to how unstructured data is rearranged so that your conversation may “understand” and analyze it.

Managing Intents

As established, Intents are critical factors in conversational experience functionality because it is the conversation's ability to parse intent(s) is what ultimately determines the success of the interaction.

To manage your intents, open the NLU or Model Quickview view and click on the Intents tab to view your project’s existing Intents.

Creating and Editing Intents and Utterances

To create a New Intent (1) , hit the + icon next to the Intent tab's label in either view.

You can can Utterances on your Intent manually, or Bulk Import utterances either via the in-line editor or (.csv) file by clicking the upload icon.

Tip: You can include entities in your utterances by using curly brackets. Note that Entities must already exist in your project to be used within imported utterances. This can be done when bulk importing utterances, as well.

Deleting Intents and Utterances

In the NLU Manager, you can select the box next to each intent, and delete them using the delete button found in the header.

In the Model Quickview, you are able to delete existing intents by access the (...) options menu next to the Intent Name field, and selecting Delete. You can also right-click the desired intent in the Intent menu and select Remove.

Note: Deleting Intents/Entities in the Model Manager that are already being used in your project may result in the conversation flow breaking and/or cause the Intent in your project to disappear or malfunction.

The recommended best practice is to remove all use(s) of the Intent in your project prior to deletion in the Model Manager. This also applies to Entity deletion being used in your Intent Utterances, seen below and the next section.

To delete utterances, hit the '-' icon.

Tip: For the purpose of training your conversation to derive intents and entities from your users’ messages with a greater degree of accuracy, you would need to have a range of different example utterances for each and every intent.

Managing Entities

To view your project’s entities, navigate to the Entities tab in the NLU Manager or Model Quickview.

Creating Entities

To create a New Entity, hit the + icon in the Entities tab. You’ll be prompted to name and fill into the data for a new Entity.

When creating a new entity, you’ll need to enter:

  • Entity Name - you will notice the curly-braced {} in a colored box populate as you input a name; this will be how you invoke/input the entity in Intent utterances or any other applicable part of your project
  • Entity Type - the type of data the entity is capturing
  • Entity Values - its potential values (available when using Custom Entities)
  • Entity Synonyms (optional) - the alternative slot values/variations of the entity values that can classify the Entity slot
  • Entity Color - this does not affect your end-user experience, it helps organize your Model Manager experience

Entity Type

Entity types indicate the type of data the entity is capturing. Depending on your project-type, you will notice a dropdown of various entity types available for your building experience.

In Voiceflow, there are two ways to categorize entities:

Custom Entities: These are the entities that can be defined by the conversation designer as per their use case. If there isn't an existing built-in Entity type for your use case, you will have to build a Custom Entity type. When building a Custom Entity type, you will manually or bulk-import the values you want your Entities to be able to capture.

System-Defined Entities: The system entities are commonly used entities that are pre-defined in the system, dependant on channel/project-type.

Channels like Alexa and Google may have existing-defined Entity types like "FirstName". These channel-specific and/or project-type entities will have thousands of built-in examples - saves you from having to enter thousands of names.

Entity Synonyms

Entity synonyms let you enter variations of what a user could say to incite the value of a particular Entity.

Bulk Import Entities

Similarly to bulk importing Intent utterances, you are also able to bulk-import Entities and its synonyms.

You can also do so by clicking the cloud icon next to the Entity Type. You can also import your data via the in-line editor or as a (.csv) file.

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