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Dialogflow CX: Bot Building Basics

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Dialogflow CX: Bot Building Basics

1 hour 30 minutes 1 Credit

GSP928

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Overview

Dialogflow CX provides a simple, visual bot building approach to virtual agent design. Bot designers now have a much clearer picture of the overall bot building process and multiple designers are able to easily collaborate on the same agent build. Dialogflow CX supports many languages for your agent to use and understand, but this lab will be using only English.

In this lab you will build a conversational agent using Dialogflow CX.

Prerequisites

You should be generally familiar with the basic concepts of conversational AI. Read through these Sample Transcripts to get an idea of what client transcripts might look like. Often the first step in creating an agent is to read through client transcripts and/or other contextual data to understand the use case and specific business requirements.

Setup

Before you click the Start Lab button

Read these instructions. Labs are timed and you cannot pause them. The timer, which starts when you click Start Lab, shows how long Google Cloud resources will be made available to you.

This hands-on lab lets you do the lab activities yourself in a real cloud environment, not in a simulation or demo environment. It does so by giving you new, temporary credentials that you use to sign in and access Google Cloud for the duration of the lab.

To complete this lab, you need:

  • Access to a standard internet browser (Chrome browser recommended).
Note: Use an Incognito or private browser window to run this lab. This prevents any conflicts between your personal account and the Student account, which may cause extra charges incurred to your personal account.
  • Time to complete the lab---remember, once you start, you cannot pause a lab.
Note: If you already have your own personal Google Cloud account or project, do not use it for this lab to avoid extra charges to your account.

How to start your lab and sign in to the Google Cloud Console

  1. Click the Start Lab button. If you need to pay for the lab, a pop-up opens for you to select your payment method. On the left is the Lab Details panel with the following:

    • The Open Google Console button
    • Time remaining
    • The temporary credentials that you must use for this lab
    • Other information, if needed, to step through this lab
  2. Click Open Google Console. The lab spins up resources, and then opens another tab that shows the Sign in page.

    Tip: Arrange the tabs in separate windows, side-by-side.

    Note: If you see the Choose an account dialog, click Use Another Account.
  3. If necessary, copy the Username from the Lab Details panel and paste it into the Sign in dialog. Click Next.

  4. Copy the Password from the Lab Details panel and paste it into the Welcome dialog. Click Next.

    Important: You must use the credentials from the left panel. Do not use your Google Cloud Skills Boost credentials. Note: Using your own Google Cloud account for this lab may incur extra charges.
  5. Click through the subsequent pages:

    • Accept the terms and conditions.
    • Do not add recovery options or two-factor authentication (because this is a temporary account).
    • Do not sign up for free trials.

After a few moments, the Cloud Console opens in this tab.

Note: You can view the menu with a list of Google Cloud Products and Services by clicking the Navigation menu at the top-left. Navigation menu icon

Task 1. Create your agent

  1. Visit the Dialogflow CX console, then select your Cloud Project name. Your Cloud Project name should match your Project ID for your lab like: qwiklabs-gcp-xx-xxxxxxxxxxx
Dialogflow CX console with project name highlighted
  1. Click Enable API.

Click Check my progress to verify the objective. Enable API

  1. Click Create agent. If you do not see this page, refresh your browser.
Agents page with Create agents button highlighted
  1. Name your agent Flight booker

  2. Pick global from the Location drop-down.

  3. Click Create.

Create agent window, with display name and location fields completed
  1. After creating the agent, navigate to Agent Settings > General > Logging settings and click on enable stackdriver logging option. It will generate logs for this agent.

  2. Click Save.

Agent Settings General tabbed page with Enable stackdriver logging option selected

Click Check my progress to verify the objective. Create an Agent

Knowledge check

Task 2. Intents

Intents are the reasons an end-user has for interacting with the agent, for example, ordering something. You can create an intent for every topic they may want to navigate.

Intents can be reused across Pages and Flows. Each intent is defined by training phrases end-users typically ask. These can be annotated or "labeled" to collect specific parameters, such as arrival city or departure date.

Dialogflow CX will suggest annotations as you include training phrases for the intent; they can also be manually annotated to collect the parameter values you want to extract from the end-user's interaction with your agent.

Recommended: in order to reuse intents as well as make maintenance easier, name your intents with clear and explicit names.

Format of intent: category.some_description

Example of formatting:

  • Core Intents: main.book_a_flight

  • Common intent but not core: supplemental.flight_emissions

  • Reusable intents: confirmation.yes, confirmation_no, redirect.live_agent.

Create your first intent

  1. Click Manage > Intents > Create :
Intents tab with Create button highlighted
  1. Display Name: main.book_a_flight

  2. Under the Training Phrases header, add each of the following phrases into Dialogflow, click Enter after each phrase:

  • Book a flight
  • Can you book my flight to San Francisco next month
  • I want to use my reward points to book a flight from Milan in October
  • My family is visiting next week and we need to book 6 round trip tickets
  • Four business class tickets from Taiwan to Dubai for June 2nd to 30th
  • I need a flight Saturday from LAX to San Jose
  • Book SFO to MIA on August 10th one way
  • Help me book a ticket from 4/10 to 4/15 from Mexico City to Medellin Colombia please
  • I am booking a surprise trip for my mom, can you help arrange that for May 10th to May 25th to Costa Rica
  • Do you have any cheap flights to NYC for this weekend
  • I want to fly in my cousin from Montreal on August 8th
  • I want to find two seats to Panama City on July 4th
  • For my wedding anniversary we want to go to Seattle for Christmas
Note: For higher model accuracy, using 20-50 training phrases with short and long response options is recommended.
  1. Click Save.
Intents tab with Save button highlighted
  1. Some words are highlighted because Dialogflow has automatically labeled the entities, such as a date, place, or number.
Intents page displaying highlighted dates, places, and numbers Note: You can also add training phrases in bulk by creating a training phrase CSV file and uploading it to Dialogflow.

Task 3. Flows and pages

Flows are used to define topics and the associated conversational paths. Every agent has one flow called the Default Start Flow. This single flow may be all you need for a simple agent.

More complicated agents may require additional flows, and different development team members can be responsible for building and maintaining these flows.

Default Start Flow diagram

Every flow starts with a Page, and is made of one or multiple different pages thereafter to handle the conversation within a particular flow. The current page an end-user is on is considered the "active page". Each page can be configured to collect any required information from the end-user.

Build from your Default Start Flow

The page your agent starts from is called the Default Start Flow. Pages store routing logic, responses (known as Fulfillment), specific actions to take if an intent cannot be matched (known as no-match) or receives no-input (which is when the agent does not receive a response in time).

  1. Click Build.
  2. Click Start to open the page.
Default Start Flow pagewith Build and Start button highlighted
  1. From the expanded options on the Start page, select the + icon next to Routes.
Routes and plus icon highlighted
  1. Select the intent main.book_a_flight from the drop-down, then click Save.
Route window with main.book_a_flight intent selected and Save button highlighted
  1. Next, in the Routes section, click the main.book_a_flight route. Routes section with main.book_a_flight route highlighted

  2. Scroll down to Transition and choose + new Page from the drop-down.

  3. Name the page "Ticket information" and click Save.

Highlighted Page name field populated with Ticket information
  1. Exit out of the windows to return to the main display of flows to see your new Ticket information page connected to the Start page.
Main display with flow diagram

The beginning of the flow now includes a greeting, and will then proceed to the Ticket information page when the main.book_a_flight intent is matched. On the Ticket Information page you will collect parameters from the end-user so they can book their flight.

Task 4. Entities and parameters

  • Entities define the type of information you wish to extract from an end-user, ex: city you want to fly to. Use Dialogflow's built-in " system entities'' for matching dates, times, colors, email addresses, and so on.

  • System entities can also be “extended” to include values that are not part of the default system values. If you need to create a fully customized entity, you can do so by creating a Custom Entity type for matching data that is custom to your business and not found as a system entity.

  • Parameters are information supplied by the end-user during a session, such as date, time, and destination city. Each parameter has a name and an entity type. They are written in snake_case (lowercase with underscores between words)

Create your first set of parameters

Next you will use an entity to extract a required parameter from the end-user.

  1. Click on the page Ticket Information, then the + by Parameters to collect flight data.
  2. Enter "departure_city" in the Display name field.
  3. Choose @sys.geo-city from the Entity type drop-down.
  4. Scroll down to Initial prompt fulfillment > Agent Says and add "What city would you like the flight to depart from?"
  5. Click Save.
Initial prompt fulfillment section with Agent says field populated
  1. Exit out of this window to make another parameter.
  2. Click the + by Parameters again to create 4 additional parameters one by one with the following name, entity type, and how the agent will prompt the end-user.
Display name Entity type Agent says
departure_date @sys.date What is the month and day of the departure?
destination_city @sys.geo-city What is your destination city?
return_date @sys.date What is the month and day for the returning flight?
passenger_name @sys.any What is the passenger's name?

When finished they are listed like this:

Parameters page displaying the list of added parameters

Note: The order in which the parameters are listed affects the order in which the flight booking agent will ask for each. You can easily change the order by dragging parameters up or down.

Knowledge check

Task 5. Conditions

Once the agent has collected the necessary 5 flight booking parameters, you want to route the end user to another page using a routing condition, which you will create next.

  1. Exit out of the parameter window to return to the Ticket information page again.
  2. Scroll down to locate Routes and click the + sign next to it.
  3. Scroll down to Condition > Condition rules > select "Match AT LEAST ONE rule (OR)"
  4. In the Parameter field enter $page.params.status
  5. Choose the = sign in the Operand drop-down.
  6. In the Value field enter: "FINAL" (ensure you include the double quotes).
  7. Click Save.
Condition section with Parameter field highlighted

Knowledge check

Task 6. Fulfillment

Now add a response to say to the end-user when all 5 of their booking parameters are collected. These responses are called Fulfillment.

  1. From the condition you just made, scroll down a bit and locate the section called Fulfillment.
  2. Under Agent says type the following: Thank you for that information. Let me check on the availability of your ticket.
  3. Click Save.

(Now stay on this page while you read on to the next step of confirming information.)

Fulfillment section with highlighted populated Agent says field

Task 7. Confirming information

After offering a response (or fulfillment), you need to create a transition to a new page that will repeat back to the end-user if the travel information collected (parameters) are correct.

  1. Continue to scroll down (past the fulfillment you just created) until you reach Transition.
  2. On the Page field, select the drop down to choose + new Page.
  3. Type "Confirm trip" in the field called Page name.
Transition section with populated Page name field highlighted
  1. Click Save.
  2. Exit out of the window.
  3. Take a look at the flow of your 3 pages.
Main display with flow diagram. Flow points include Start, Ticket information, and Confirm Trip

Repeating back the parameters collected from end-users

Session Parameters store information previously collected from the end-user and are active throughout the session. They also help you repeat information back to the end-user.

For example, we can have the agent repeat back a passenger's name: "Thanks for providing that information, $session.params.passenger_name." This displays to the end-user as "Thanks for providing information, John Day."

They are formatted as follows:

  • Prefix: $session.params.
  • Entity Name: passenger_name

So referencing the departure city would look like: $session.params.departure_city

  1. Starting from the Build view, click on the Confirm Trip page > Entry fulfillment > Edit fulfillment field.
Confirm trip window with Edit fulfillment field highlighted
  1. Since you used 5 parameters, you can repeat them back to the user via the following session parameters. Paste the following text within the Agent says section:

This is to confirm that $session.params.passenger_name will fly From: $session.params.departure_city To: $session.params.destination_city Leaving on: $session.params.departure_date Returning on: $session.params.return_date Is this correct? Fullfillment window with Agent says field populated
  1. Then click Save.
  2. This is what it will look like to the end-user when the virtual agent repeats back the collected session parameters:
Virtual agent displaying the collected session parameters

Positive confirmation route

  1. Exit out of the window to return to your Confirm Trip page. Click + next to Routes.
Confirm trip page with plus button highlighted
  1. Click the Intents drop-down , then click + new Intent.
Intent drop-down menu with + new intent option highlighted
  1. In Display name type "confirmation.yes".
  2. In Training phrases enter "yes" then Enter (you can add more phrases like "correct", "yup", etc., to improve the NLU matching for this intent).
Training phrases section with yes and correct populated in the text field
  1. Click Save.
  2. After saving, scroll down to the Fulfillment section and enter "Great, your flight is booked!"
Highlighted Agent says field displaying the message: Great, your flight is booked!
  1. Then click Save.

  2. Click the back arrow, next to Route.

Back arrow highlighted

Negative confirmation route

Now add logic to route an end-user to recollect their flight parameters if they say the information is incorrect.

  1. Still on the Routes section select Add route.
Add route button highlighted
  1. From the Intents drop-down choose + new Intent.
  2. Name the intent confirmation.no in the Display name field.
Highlighted Display name field with confirmation.no entered
  1. Scroll down to the Training phrases section type "no" then click Enter.
Training phrases section with no highlighted
  1. Click Save.
  2. Next, scroll down to the section called Transition > Page, then choose Ticket information from the drop-down.
Transition section with Ticket information selected i the Page dropdown menu Note: This is to prompt the user again for their flight information.
  1. Scroll up to Parameter presets and click Add a parameter . Enter the following 5 values and assign their value to null without the quotation marks.
Note: You will need to delete the quotation marks in the value column and type null. This is to delete the parameters collected from the end-user.
Parameter Value
departure_city null
destination_city null
departure_date null
return_date null
passenger_name null
Parameter presets section with null value for each of the five parameters

The purpose of this is to remove the value that was previously collected from the end user to allow them to submit a new value. If this step is missed, it might result in an infinite loop scenario in your bot!

  1. Click Save.
  2. Exit out of the window to return to the Build view, you will now see how all 3 pages flow. Note that the last page has two arrows between the Confirm trip and Ticket information page because the confirmation.no intent is linked back.
Build view displaying the flow diagram

Knowledge check

Task 8. Testing

  1. To test that your agent works as intended, click on Test Agent in the upper right corner of the screen.

  2. Interact with the agent as if you were the end-user. As you move through the main flow, notice the pages, intents, and transitions you created.

Depending on how you arranged your parameter collection, you can try typing in the following sample dialogue:

  • I'd like to book a flight
  • Austin
  • Tomorrow
  • Boston
  • Next Friday
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Yes

This should result in a successful transaction through your agent, commonly known as the “happy path”.

Here is an example of the above agent testing in the Test Agent console:

Test Agent console with simulator flow example

Click Check my progress to verify the objective. Test the agent

Task 9. Exporting your agent

When you build an agent for one project, you can export it to use in a different project. You can export your agent and save it to use in future labs or to continue building in your own personal project!

  1. In the Agent drop down at the top of the Dialogflow CX console, click View all agents.
Expanded Agent dropdown with View all agents button highlighted
  1. On the Agent list screen, click the context menu next to your agent and then click Export.
Expanded context menu with Export button highlighted
  1. On the Export Agent screen, choose Download to local file, then click Export.
Export Agent page with Download option selected and highlighted

Congratulations

You have built a Dialogflow CX Agent and become familiar with the foundational concepts.

Finish your quest

This self-paced lab is part of the Create Conversational AI Agents with Dialogflow CX quest. A quest is a series of related labs that form a learning path. Completing this quest earns you a badge to recognize your achievement. You can make your badge or badges public and link to them in your online resume or social media account. Enroll in this Quest to get immediate credit. See the Google Cloud Skills Boost catalog to see all available quests.

Next steps / learn more

End your lab

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Manual Last Updated: July 21, 2022

Lab Last Tested: December 15, 2021

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