In Conversation Builder, a knowledge base is a great tool to answer questions about a variety of topics specific to your bot's area of expertise. One would typically add a knowledge base integration in a fallback dialog to provide simple answers to topics not covered elsewhere in the bot.

The Knowledge Base application in the Conversation Builder platform lets you to create and manage knowledge bases and articles, which are then processed by an NLU engine. This allows the bot to leverage intents and entities to recommend the most accurate articles to an inquiring consumer. FAQ bots and Agent Advisor widgets are both driven by a knowledge base full of articles, intelligently delivering the right content to the consumer at the right time.

How a knowledge base works

The Knowledge Base uses two types of algorithms to match a consumer's input to articles and return an appropriate article.

First, an exact match search is performed. This checks the consumer's input against the title, summary, detail, intent qualifiers (if used), and tags in the articles. If an exact match is found, the article is returned.

If an exact match isn't found, the Knowledge Base then uses Natural Language Understanding (NLU) algorithms to match the consumer input to articles. If it finds a match to a reasonable degree of certainty, it returns the article. The article attributes against which the NLU engine compares the consumer's input include:

  • Title
  • Intents (either the knowledge base's built-in intents or domain intents that are linked to the relevant article)
  • Positive and negative learnings that the article has acquired

The Knowledge Base returns results scored as VERY GOOD, GOOD, FAIR PLUS, FAIR and POOR. The default quality setting is GOOD, but you can change the score threshold within your Knowledge Base integration. That said, it's generally recommended to keep the quality above FAIR PLUS.

Knowlege Base intents versus Domain intents

When dealing with a knowledge base, an intent is the question that the consumer has ("What's your return policy?") or a problem the user needs to solve ("I can't remember my password.").

While the article's title represents the intent of the article, you can also specify the intent using alternate formats. You can do this right inside the article by adding what are called "intent qualifiers":

Or, you can define these alternate formats in a domain in Intent Builder. Here, they're called "training phrases":

When you add a knowledge base, you'll specify which configuration approach you're using for the knowlege base:

  • Knowledge Base Intents: Select if this if you're using intents (i.e., intent qualifiers) that reside in the article itself.
  • Domain Intents: Select this if you're using intents from a domain that's defined in Intent Builder.

Languages

When you add a knowledge base, you'll specify its language.

When the exact match search is performed and an exact match is found, the knowledge base's language doesn't play a role. Whatever article is exactly matched is simply returned.

If no exact match is found, and therefore NLU is used to return a result, the knowledge base's language works differently based on how you've defined the knowledge base:

  • If the knowledge base uses knowledge base intents, the knowledge base's language is used. In this case, only English and Spanish are supported.

  • If the knowledge base uses domain intents, the domain's language is used instead. In this case, the languages supported depend on the domain's NLU provider.

Settings toolbar

As you work on the articles in a knowledge base, you'll often access the toolbar in the lower-right corner. It provides access to the following panels:

  • Chat: Use this to select a bot you've previously created and linked to the knowledge base, and feed it test user input to see if it matches content as you'd expect.

  • Tags: This panel displays all tags you've previously used, so you can review them all in one place and reuse them in future articles.

  • Categories: This panel displays all categories you've previously used, so you can review them all in one place and reuse them in future articles.

  • Test User Input: This panel is similar to the Chat panel but is divorced from a specific bot. Use it to feed user input directly into a knowledge base and test your content matching without the context of an actual dialog.

  • Knowledge Base Menu: Use this to access various knowledge base settings and features.

  • Intents Analytics: Use this to see historical information on the intents that were and weren't matched by bots to the knowledge base's articles.