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Humans misspeak all the time. Even though we think we are stating our desires and questions clearly, we often don’t form sentences well, leading others to ask, “Did you actually mean…?” It takes listening skills and intelligence to keep even basic conversations on track.

Now imagine customer care chatbots doing the same thing. In most cases, they can’t. They simply don’t have enough intelligence to detect that the conversation is going off track the way humans would. So they just repeat an answer cheerfully — angering the customer and leading to the spiral of misery and frustration with customer service.


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We recently published a technical paper that demonstrates how Watson Assistant does a better job understanding users than other conversational AI platforms. To achieve this, we use many complex technologies in natural language understanding and machine learning. We’d like to explain in basic terms how they work.

At heart, conversational AI software has to perform three things: understand the user’s question; find the best answer from its training, or search for it through documents; and return an answer in a concise, precise manner. …


Watson Assistant has released two features into general availability that make it even more robust and friendly to customers: an out-of-the-box WhatsApp integration and Session History for Web Chat.

Companies can now use Watson Assistant to help their customers on all the most prominent digital channels. For the past year, we’ve supported web, SMS, Facebook Messenger, and Slack. Today, we are happy to add another very popular channel to the list: WhatsApp!


As developers of Watson Assistant we have developed best practices for creating and maintaining high-performance assistants for ourselves. This guide breaks down these practices into an easy-to-understand lifecycle that you can follow for your own purposes.

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As engineers who made Watson Assistant, we know it has the capabilities you need to build highly effective AI solutions for your business. But features alone are not enough. You also need to implement a process to create, analyze, and continuously improve assistants.

This guide will explains our recommendations for an AI lifecycle and the tasks involved in each phase. It’s based on our expertise gained from real world engagements with clients around the world. And now we’ll teach you what we know.

Phases of the AI lifecycle

The AI lifecycle has six phases. The phases are repeated to form an iterative process that you…


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We talk a lot about personalizing assistants to your users’ needs, and what’s more personal than speaking in the language they prefer? You can’t deliver a great experience if users struggle to understand your assistant in a non-native language. This guide outline 3.5 (not a typo!) strategies for delivering an assistant that can speak multiple languages.

Strategy 1: Full Machine Translation

Automatic language translation has come a long way in the past decade, but it’s still not perfect. That said, in most cases, it performs more than well enough to get the job done. …


In the last part of our getting started series, we show you how to take your assistant live without disruption (5/5)

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Now that you’ve planned, built, completed, and tested your assistant, you should feel confident setting your first assistant live! So how do you effectively do this? And how do you make sure your live assistant is set up to rapidly identify problems and make improvements?

We’ll get to all of that, but before we do, just a reminder of where you are in your first-assistant-journey:

First-Assistant Getting Started Steps

  1. Plan it out — a few hours (you already did this!)
  2. Build it — half of a day (you already did this!)
  3. Complete it — a few hours (you already did this!)
  4. Test and improve…


We’ll show you how to connect Watson Assistant to your existing content and to human agents (3/5)

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Looks like you’ve gotten past most of the work building your assistant—should be smooth sailing from here! Now we’ll put all of the finishing touches on your assistant before you start to test it with other people!

And, just as a reminder, here are the set of steps you’ve already completed and the few you have left. We’re getting closer to launch! How exciting is that?

First-Assistant Getting Started Steps

  1. Plan it — a few hours (you already did this!)
  2. Build it — half of a day (you already did this!)
  3. Complete it — a few hours (you are here)
  4. Test and improve it


It’s vital to test your assistant before setting it live. In this post, we teach you how to spot issues early and best practices to solve them (4/5)

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Now that you’ve planned, built, and completed your assistant, you’ll want to test and make some incremental improvements before setting it live to your customers. So how do you effectively do this? And when do you know that the assistant is ready to be launched?

We’ll get to all of that, but before we do, just a reminder of where you are in your first-assistant-journey:

First-Assistant Getting Started Steps

  1. Plan it out — a few hours (you already did this!)
  2. Build it — half of a day (you already did this!)
  3. Complete it — a few hours (you already did this!)
  4. Test and improve…


You might be tempted to train your assistant to answer everything at once. Don’t. Instead, we’ll show you how to start simply (1/5)

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So, you’re launching your first assistant? Amazing! We’re here to help you get going, but before we dive in, it’s important to take a step back, think about your overall goals, and plan out how you’re going to start.

Most of our customers have the vision of a truly personalized customer or employee-facing assistant that can work on any channel and handle just about any request at any stage of that person’s journey. They want an assistant that can deflect questions from reaching support agents, speed up task completion, handle sales inquiries, capture leads, reduce the cognitive overload of navigating…


You’ll learn how to build an assistant that handles topics faster and more concisely than any alternative (2/5)

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Now that you’ve planned your assistant, it’s time for the fun part: have it do stuff! Before we get started, be sure that you’ve taken the guided tours so that you’re familiar with the core Assistant concepts:

  • What is an Intent (and how to set one up)
  • What is an Entity (and how to set one up)
  • What a dialog node represents
  • How to link your intents and entities to dialog nodes

To find the guided tours, head to the “learning center” in the top right of the Watson Assistant console.

IBM Watson Assistant

The AI assistant that solves customer problems the first time.

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