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Three types of Dialogflow contexts

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You might not have realized this, but there are actually three types of Dialogflow contexts.

And I recommend only one of them.

Implicit and auto-generated contexts

When you use the slot filling feature, which I do not recommend, you are using implicit, auto-generated contexts. (Note: I use auto-generated and system generated interchangeably, they mean the same thing).

These contexts are auto-generated because you didn’t create them but they are automatically generated by the system when you define a parameter as being required.

They are implicit, because their presence cannot be used to infer candidate intents.

Explicit and auto-generated contexts

When you use the follow-up intents feature, you will notice that Dialogflow automatically adds an output context to the parent intent as well as an input context to the child intent.

Follow up intent
Autogenerated output context in the parent intent
Autogenerated input context in the child intent

They are auto-generated because you didn’t create them.

They are explicit, however, because the contexts used by the followup intents can be used to infer candidate intents.

Explicit and user-defined contexts

When you create your own contexts to design your conversation flow, I would call them explicit, user-defined contexts.

These are user-defined, of course, since you defined them.

They are explicit, since you can use these contexts to infer candidate intents.

The explicative approach

I recommend that people who build Dialogflow bots use the explicative approach since it makes it much easier to build maintainable Dialogflow bots.

So I suggest using explicit and user-defined contexts as much as possible, since it makes it much easier to debug your Dialogflow chatbot.

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