Slots and slot types overview

Slots are the specific pieces of information from an utterance to help understand the user’s intent. For example, consider the utterance, “I want to book two rooms.” This utterance allows the bot to identify a specific piece of information or slot: rooms required.

After the bot identifies a slot, it maps the slot to a slot type. A slot type defines how the bot processes the information available in the identified slot. Make sure that you map each slot to a slot type. Slot types help the bot define the information that the bot looks for when trying to find a slot in the utterance. A slot type must include at least one value.

In the previous utterance, the slot is “rooms required,” and the slot maps to a number slot type. This video describes how slots and slot types work in Genesys Dialog Engine Bot Flows:

Architect bots support two slot types:

  • Built-in slots
  • Custom slots

Built-in slots

You can define built-in slots when you create a slot from the Slots tab.

  1. Under Natural Language Understanding, click Intents.
  2. From the Intents page, click the Slots tab.
  3. Click Add Slot.

Click the image to enlarge.

Architect includes the following built-in slot types by default:

NLU slot type Architect data type User input examples Resolved format examples Notes
builtin:amountOfMoney Currency “$30.23” or “forty dollars”

30.23|USD
40.00|USD

builtin:duration Duration “six minutes”, “3 hours”, but not months or years

PT6M

PT3H

builtin:number Decimal “23” or “three point five”

23.0

3.5

This feature does not currently support ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.).

builtin:date Date “June 15” or “next Tuesday” 2021-06-15

When passing date values into or out of a bot flow, make sure that you pass the value as a string in extended ISO-8601 format. For example, 2021-02-16.

builtin:time Time “3 p.m.” or “three-thirty p.m.”

15:00:00.000

15:30:00.000

Custom slots

A custom slot type allows you to define slot types and use them to map slots. For example, you can require a location slot to denote cities for your travel bot. You can define a custom slot type and use that location slot to mark locations in your utterances.

Architect supports two types of custom slot types:

  • a list type
  • a regular expression (regex) type

If your bot has to identify a complex content in the utterance, say a flight number or flight code, a regex pattern is more useful in defining the slot type.

List slot type

If your custom slot type data is a set of predefined words in the utterance, say like location names, use the list slot type.

  1. Under Natural Language Understanding, click Slot Types.
  2. From the Slot Types page, click Add Slot Type.
  3. Enter a name for the custom slot type and click Save.
  4. Select List as the custom slot type.
  5. Type a value for the custom slot and click Add or press Enter. 
  6. Add more values as needed.

You can also add synonyms for a slot type so that Architect can recognize multiple words and phrases for the same slot. For example, a slot type value of New York can have the synonyms: Big Apple or NYC. These synonyms allow the bot to understand that when the user says NYC, it maps to New York.

  1. Enable the Allow Synonyms check box.
  2. Click Enter synonym next to the slot type value
  3. Type an alternate name and press Enter.
  4. Add more synonyms, if needed.

To delete any synonyms, hover over the synonym and click the X that appears.

    Regular expression (regex or regexp) slot type

    You can use regular expressions (regex or regexp) to identify patterns within utterances that match to a specific sequence of characters. For example, if you want to match flight codes for your travel bot, you must know the flight number for handling any cancellations. The regex pattern, ^[A-Z]{2}\d{3,4}$ matches any phrase in the utterance that matches this pattern as a flight number. For more information, see Regular expression language quick reference.

    1. Under Natural Language Understanding, click Slot Types.
    2. From the Slot Types page, click Add Slot Type, or click Add Slot Type on the left side of the pane.
    3. Enter a name for the custom slot type and click Save.
    4. Select Regular Expression as the custom slot type.
    5. Type a regular expression and press Enter.