How to Use the Dialog Engine Slot Mapping Feature


The word slot has been in use for centuries, and has many different meanings. It is a grammatical noun that originated in the late 14c., when it was a term for the hollow of the throat above the breastbone. The word is a variant of the Old French esclot, which may have come from Old Norse slod. Although its definitions vary, the word generally refers to a hole, opening, or cavity. Its modern sense is the space where something slides into. It is also a synonym of the word slot machine, which first emerged in the 1880s.

The Dialog Engine is able to map discrete pieces of information from utterances, or “slots”, into a single logically related object. Each Slot is associated with a Slot Type, which specifies what information to look for in an utterance. Identifying and processing a particular Slot is the core functionality of the Dialog Engine. To use the slot mapping feature, you need to map every slot in a system to a specific Slot Type.

There are two types of slots: built-in slots and custom slots. You can add a prompt for each, and create a custom slot if you wish. The values of the slots must be in the extended ISO-8601 format. For example, a curved piece has slots for a variety of values, like date and time. If a slot contains two values that are in the same format, the built-in datetime and time map the values of the two variables.