Understanding the Intent in NLU

in NLU and Dialogue methodology

Firstly… What history is this “NLU and Dialogue methodology”? This post is a continuation of Understanding chatbots solutions in the market. For not to be without understanding, read it before(I recommend!!).

Then let’s go… Like I already defined in another story the intent is the objective of the user when he expressed a sentence.

For example, considers that we are in a banking context:

User: What is my account balance?

In this case, we can understand that the user’s desire is to know the amount of money has in your banking account. That is intent. And the output can be:


The user could have expressed for many different modes to ask your account balance. In this methodology, the NLU must comprehend his interactions and choose the intent that more nearby of one existent in the knowledge base. Usually, this part informs the confidence of this choice (the 98% at the above example). Some give a ranking of probable intents.

For to help you understand better the intent concept I collected some definitions in some chatbot platforms.

Is very important to know the mode as your customer communicates. In the building process of a knowledge base, we collect the utterances of the user and we grouping the many diverse interaction types per the user’s goal in each sentence.

In the end, we has many set of samples of how our client pronounces, for example:

Starting for this, we can interact with the customer knowing your goals, and trying to reach his.

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But this isn’t a simple challenge! Because the user is used to speak with humans with complex sentence constructions. In the intent resolving process, we trying to isolate the user’s desire. And in some cases, this is very hard.

Then, currently is very common in process of construction of a chatbot we include instructions to guide the user in your interactions for him to use the more simple sentence.

This is a part of the series: “Understanding…” where I write about each concept needed to build a chatbot. Coming soon I will post about other concepts.

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Understanding the Intent in NLU was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.