Google Cloud on Wednesday announced a series of updates to Dialogflow, the development platform for building chatbots and interactive voice responses (IVR). Dialogflow is the core technology behind Contact Center AI, software that enables businesses to deploy virtual agents for basic customer interactions.
Among other updates, Google is expanding the number of intents available to virtual agents from 2,000 to 20,000 with a new feature in beta called Dialogflow Mega Agent. With more intents, a virtual agent can access more training phrases, actions, parameters and responses to interact with customers.
A regular Dialogflow agent comes with a limit of 2,000 intents, so the Mega Agent works by consolidating as many as 10 agents (called sub-agents) into a single mega agent. For instance, you may have an "orders" sub-agent that responds to requests related to purchasing an item, as well as an "account" sub-agent for handling account questions like, "What is my balance?"
With a Mega Agent, customers should be able to have more natural conversations and pivot to new questions. It could also lead to better governance for developers, Google says -- with multiple teams building an agent, each team could be responsible for one sub-agent.
In addition to Mega Agents, Google is offering Dialogflow Agent Validation in GA, to help identify agent design errors in real time. This feature can bring to light problems like overlapping training phrases or wrong entity annotations, so they can be fixed right away.
Dialogflow Versions and Environments is also generally available, letting developers create multiple versions of agents and publish them to different environments, including testing, development, staging and production.
The Dialogflow Webhook Management API is also now in GA, so developers can create and manage queries more quickly.
Google Cloud recently hit a $10 billion annual revenue run rate, and under the direction of Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud is focused on six verticals across 21 markets. While Google is expanding its vertical-specific offerings, it's also offering tools like Contact Center AI that can span different industries.