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Why I avoid the Dialogflow Knowledge Base feature

Recently a customer of the FAQ bot generator in my BotFlo app made the following observation:

We made the mistake of using the Knowledge Base, which ended up being a disaster. Converted the KB to intents and had over 800 of them. This brought it down to about 80. Thanks again for making this tool.

This customer converted the knowledge based FAQ chatbot into what I call an intent based FAQ bot.

I have created a table summarizing the differences between knowledge based FAQ bots and intent based FAQ bots.

Intent Based FAQ BotKnowledge Based FAQ Bot
How we build itUsing intents and training phrasesUsing the knowledge base feature
Support for multiple responses for the same queryNoYes
Multiple training phrases per intentYesNo
Supports entities in training phrasesYesNo
Support for contexts (and follow up)YesNo
Easy to construct rich responses (e.g. for Dialogflow Messenger)YesNo
Use term reinforcement for adding weights to specific words and phrasesYesBlackbox
Allows us to minimize intra-intent variance and maximize inter-intent variance (as recommended by Google)YesBlackbox

As you can see, unless you are sure you need multiple responses from your chatbot, you are much better off going with the Intent Based FAQ Bot.

However, while the Knowledge Base feature allows you to import from a CSV file, that isn’t possible with intent based FAQ bots. If you need to add a lot of training phrases in your chatbot, it can be quite slow to do it using the Dialogflow web interface. In that case, you can simply type out your questions and answers in the appropriate format and use the BotFlo app to convert it into a Dialogflow FAQ bot with a click of a mouse.

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I think Aravind really did a great job to introduce dialogflow to people like me, without programming background. He organizes his course in very clear manner since I have been a college professor for 20 years. It is very easy for me to recognize how great Aravind’s course is! Very use-friend and very easy to follow. He doesn’t have any strong accent when he gives the lectures. It is so easy for me to understand. Really appreciate it.

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