Google Actions built in intents or better discoverability

There are a couple of things Google is adding to their Actions that are interesting: One is the upcoming App Actions that we talk last Saturday (go and listen to that one too) that will allow you to turn your Android mobile application into an Action relatively easily and the second one is the recent update to the Actions console. To manage the complexity of the multiple ways a user can ask for your action, they introduced Built-in intents. Built-in intents are currently in developer preview. You can build and publish Actions that use this feature, but Google is still working on fine tuning discovery and ranking.
A built-in intent is a unique identifier that tells the Assistant that your Action is suitable to fulfill a specific category of user requests, such as playing games or ordering tickets.
During Action discovery, the Assistant can use information about your Action, including its attached built-in intents, to suggest it to users only if it is relevant.
To minimize conversational round-trips, the Assistant will attempt to extract parameters from user queries that map to built-in intents and pass them on to your Action. To learn more about these parameters and see examples of user queries, see the Built-in intents reference.
For now built-in intents are available only in English-US, but

  • de-DE (coming soon)
  • fr-FR (coming soon)
  • ja-JP (coming soon)
  • ko-KR (coming soon)

Are coming soon.
Best practices for using built-in intents includes
Map built-in intents to specific actions: For example, if your Action supports the PLAY_GAME built-in intent and receives that intent, you should immediately send the user to the game feature of your Action. Avoid asking the user again if they want to play a game.
Make sure to use the built-in intent parameter values that the Assistant sends to your fulfillment. Avoid re-prompting the user for those values.

Why built-in intents matter?

It’s a step forward towards Actions discoverability, the main pain point of voice applications today. I’m curious to know how the ranking system will work to select Actions, but for now seems smart to start integrating it in your applications.

As you see, Google is still about ranking algorithms! Me

Thank you for listening, we’ll talk tomorrow!

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The ultimate resource in the voice space. Conversational interfaces, voice interfaces, smart speakers and smart assistants, voice strategy, audio branding.

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