Slots is a feature of Watson Conversation that reduces the amount of work needed to collect information from a chatbot user.

In this video:

  • Oscar Kafati, Product Manager, IBM Watson Conversation
  • Shantenu Agarwal, Product Manager, IBM Watson Conversation

One of the jobs when building a Watson chatbot with the Conversation service is determining how to gather input from the user. Slots is one of the easiest ways because it takes a task that usually comprises several dialog nodes and consolidates it into a single node. You basically collect answers from users and store them in context.

IBM Watson Conversation Product Managers Oscar Kafati and Shantenu Agarwal show you how slots can reduce development time when building a chatbot dialog.

A good use case example is making a dinner reservation. You’ll need to know several pieces of information – date, time, and number of people. Slots allows you to set up your chatbot to collect all of this data as a collection instead of as individual pieces that require individual dialogs. Slots enables the dialog node to understand all of the data pieces as a whole conversation or separately. That means if a user calls and asks for a table at 8pm on the 21st, the node will recognize that one piece of data is missing and ask specifically “and how many people with be in your party?”.

Slots adds another level of conversational sophistication to your chatbot.

The following video will show you how to work with slots in a little more detail.

Have fun building your chatbot with Conversation slots.

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1 comment on"Make a more sophisticated Watson chatbot with slots"

  1. Hi,
    Love the new functionality. But is there a more sophisticated way to handle other intents inside that node? Imagine if you have a bigger dialog tree and you have more intents. How can you easily jump out of the slot without getting stuck in the prompting questions?

    An example could be in this case food order on top of reservation.

    If you first ask for reservation, and then realizes you want to order food first you will get stuck in prompted question from the bot about opening hours etc because the entity values haven’t been provided with. What you want is a way to jump out of that dialog node to another one anytime. Please let me know if this was confusing 🙂

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