Chatbot Glossary (Chapter 8)

The 2018 Complete Guide to Chatbots

Chapter 8


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Glossary of Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence terms

Agent – An agent is a set of intents around one topic.

Algorithm – An algorithm is a specific set of mathematical steps or operational commands that are used to solve a problem. Algorithms are critical to AI because they analyze and transform data. Each analytical task requires a unique algorithm.

Application programming interface (API) – A set of definitions, protocols and tools to build application software.

Artificial intelligence (AI) – AI is the creation of computer systems that can perform tasks that require human intelligence, such as speech recognition, understanding and translating language, and decision making. AI includes computer science, neuroscience, psychology and linguistics, which are all needed by a machine to duplicate a typical human response.

Bots (see Chatbots) – A short name for computer programs that interact intelligently with humans and the internet.

Broadcast – A message that is proactively sent to users, similar to a push message in a mobile app.

Channel – The medium for chatbot conversations. Channels include Your Website, Messenger, Slack, Skype, SMS, email and web chat windows.

Chat Logs – chat data of human bot conversions.

Chatbot – A chatbot is an intelligent computer program that interfaces among humans, computer systems, and the internet. The word is a contraction of chat and robot.

Cloud or cloud computing – Internet-connected computers that share computer processing resources and data with other computers on demand.

Context – Contextual data is information from the chatbot related to specific conversations and can have a relative importance.

Conversational UI – A user interface based on human speech or language.

Conversations – This is a decision tree or logic diagram of a scripted conversation. These conversations can be linear or they have branching logic with multiple answers to questions.

Deep Learning – Algorithms used in machine learning and artificial intelligence to gain insights.

Entity – An entity modifies an intent. For example, if a user types “show me yesterday’s financial news”, the entities are “yesterday” and “financial”. Entities are given a name, such as “dateTime” and “newsType”. Entities are sometimes referred to as slots.

Framework – A structure that provides building blocks and functionality to build a chatbot that also requires programming.

Human in the Loop – Chatbots learn by collecting and monitoring data from conversations. The AI system applies what it learns from each conversation. Human in the Loop is when a human has to monitor some of the AI responses to make sure the appropriate response is given.

Intent – An intent is the user’s intention to gather a specific piece of information, such as the daily weather forecast. The intent is usually a noun-verb word combination that tells the chatbot what the human wants it to do. For example, find an ATM, book an appointment, or order food.

Interaction – A verbal or written communication between a chatbot and a human.

Interface – A shared boundary where two or more parts of a computer system exchange information.

Machine Learning (ML) – Machine learning is the process where a computer learns from experience rather than from programming. The machine learns by gathering data and it can find insights from that data without being explicitly programmed.

Multiple intents – When a user makes a complex request to the chatbot and the chatbot has to process and prioritize two or more intents simultaneously.

Natural language processing (NLP) – Natural language processing is teaching a computer to understand language and the intent behind the language. NLP is based on artificial intelligence, computer science, and computer linguistics.

Natural language processing Engineer – a person that specializes in NLP, AI, ML and chatbots

Neural network – A computer system that is modeled after the human brain and nervous system.

Ochatbot™ – a chatbot building system by Ometrics®

Pilot – The development stage of a chatbot where it is deployed to small group of testers.

Rails, Guard Rails – When a user asks a question that stumps the chatbot or is beyond the scope of the chatbot, the conversation must be redirected to a human. This redirection is called a Rail or a Guard Rail.

Response – Any reply from a chatbot based on user input.

Structured data – Highly organized information that is searchable when put in a database.

Unstructured data – Information that does not fit a pre-defined data model or structure and lacks overall consistency.

User experience (UX) – The overall experience of a human using a product such as a website or mobile app. User experience is determined by how easy or enjoyable something is to use.

Utterance –  Anything the user says. For example, if a user types “show me yesterday’s financial news”, the entire sentence is the utterance.

Virtual agent – A chatbot used for customer service interactions with humans.


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Greg Ahern

Greg Ahern Founder and President of Ometrics® is a fanatic about conversion rate optimization, chatbots and lead generation. Greg has been a successful Internet entrepreneur since 1994. He speaks at conferences and webinars and has built a number of internet businesses, including web marketing, web development and internet lead generation, which have been successfully acquired. Greg is the Denver Chapter Leader for the Digital Analytics Association. You can follow Greg on Twitter @gregahern and join his CRO Hacks Groups on Facebook and Slack.
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