Configuring a Conversation workspace

The natural-language processing for the Conversation service happens inside a workspace, which is a container for all of the artifacts that define the conversation flow for an application.

A single Conversation service instance can contain multiple workspaces. A workspace contains the following types of artifacts:

  • Intents: An intent represents the purpose of a user's input, such as a question about business locations or a bill payment. You define an intent for each type of user request you want your application to support.
    In the user interface, the name of an intent is always prefixed with the # character.
    To train the workspace to recognize your intents, you supply lots of examples of user input and indicate which intents they map to.

  • Entities; An entity represents a term or object that is relevant to your intents and that provides a specific context for an intent. For example, an entity might represent a city where the user wants to find a business location, or the amount of a bill payment.
    In the user interface, the name of an entity is always prefixed with the @ character.
    To train the workspace to recognize your entities, you list the possible values for each entity and synonyms that users might enter.

  • Dialog: A dialog is a branching conversation flow that defines how your application responds when it recognizes the defined intents and entities.
    You use the dialog builder to create conversations with users, providing responses based on the intents and entities that you recognize in their input.

As you add information, the workspace trains itself, so you don't have to do anything to initiate the training.