Custom BotFramework Intent Service Implementation

Developing a chatbot with language understanding capabilities is a huge leap from basic pattern recognition on the input to match to specific commands.

If you have a botframework chatbot, you’re currently limited to using LUIS as your NLP (Natural Language Processing) provider via the various Luis classes: LuisDialog, LuisModelAttribute, and LuisService.

If you’re trying to compare alternative NLP services, such as or or even Alexa, then implementing support for another NLP service in Botframework for this can be a bit tricky.

In this article I’ll show you one approach to decoupling your botframework bot from a specific NLP solution.

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LUIS Natural Language Service for BotFramework

Creating a hosted bot using Microsoft’s botframework couldn’t be easier; hopefully you’ve had a chance to create one already, and if not there’s a great introduction to creating your first bot right here.

In the previous article we saw how to create a QnA (aka FAQ/Knowledge Base) service using a little known QnA Maker service of the botframework.

In this post we’ll start to create a more intelligent bot; one which can appear to understand the intent of the incoming message and extract specific key variables from it.

Understanding the intent of a piece of text is a really tricky problem to solve; totally out of scope for this article, and for most bot projects! Luckily, the botframework has a friend called LUIS – the Language Understanding Intelligence Service.

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