First Steps with Intents

Updated on December 12, 2022

Intents are the broad subject matter a user wishes to enquire about. It is an essential part of building your AI-generated assistant’s understanding of phrases and questions in user’s inputs.

How is this useful?

There are several ways a user could ask a question.


When are you open?

What time are you open?

Are you open today?

These are all questions with the same broad subject matter i.e. a single intention – the user wants to know when the store opens.

At the same time, only one type of response is required to address all these questions, so grouping these questions under a single Intent allows for the virtual assistant to easily identify a user’s intention and in turn give a relevant response.

How does it work?

When a user asks a question, the virtual assistant will scan all the intents created for a matching question already configured in its ‘brain’.  Once a match is found, it means the virtual assistant positively ‘understands’ the user’s query enough to respond.  If no match is found, the virtual assistant will simply reply with a fallback response, which could be a sentence saying it does not understand, or prompt the user to rephrase their question.

How do I start building Intents? Simple!  Follow these steps in the FAQ dashboard:

  1. Enter your new Intent name in the text box.
    We normally do this in all caps for better differentiation. If your Intent name consists of more than one word, separate the words with an underscore ‘_’.
  2. Click the ‘+’ sign to add the Intent. Once done, the Intent should appear in the table below.
  3. Intents are disabled by default.  To enable the Intent, click on the toggle.  The toggle should turn blue once it is successfully enabled.

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