Default Messages

The conversation system has several default messages that it uses, in addition to the responses that exist in the task configuration. These default messages have standard values in Answer Server. You can change the default values, for example, if you want to run conversations in a different language, use a different conversational style, or customize the messages to your organization.

To configure default messages, you set the default_messages object in your task configuration file. The following sections describe the messages that you can configure.

Response for Non-Valid Input

The non-valid input response is the value that the conversation system returns when the user input was not recognized, for example because the message did not pass validation.

To modify the default message for non-valid input, add the default_messages object and set the invalid_input property to the new message.

For example:

{
   "default_messages" : {
      "invalid_input" : "Je ne comprends pas."
   }
}

The default value for this message is:

I'm sorry. I didn't understand that.

Response for Disambiguation

The disambiguation response is the value that the conversation system returns when there are two or more possible responses. For example, if user text triggers more than one task, or if the task sends a question that has multiple interpretations to a Answer Server Fact Bank system.

To modify the default message for disambiguation, add the ambiguous_input property to the default_messages object. The ambiguous_input property is a configuration object.

The following table describes the properties that you can set in the ambiguous_input object.

Property Type Description
message string (Optional) The message text to display to the user. This message must include the string [[ITEMS]], which is a special token that Answer Server replaces with the disambiguation items.
The default value is "Which of the following did you mean: [[ITEMS]]?".
item_separator string (Optional) The separator to use between the items in the disambiguation list.
The default value is ", " (that is, a comma and a space).
last_separator string (Optional) The separator to use between the second-last and last item in the list.
The default value is ", or " (that is, a serial comma and or, with appropriate spaces).

For example:

{
   "default_messages" : {
      "ambiguous_input" : { 
         "message": "Which one of [[ITEMS]] did you mean?",
         "item_separator": "/",
         "last_separator": "/"
      }
   }
}

This example results in a disambiguation message of the following form:

Which one of order breakfast/order lunch/order dinner did you mean?

The default configuration gives a disambiguation message of the following form:

Which of the following did you mean: order breakfast, order lunch, or order dinner?


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