Using Dialogflow for custom interactions on Google Home Mini

[I’m publishing this as I go, so will be updated frequently]

On this blog I will summarise the feasibility, and ease of developing custom commands and interactions for Google Home  / Google assistant using the Dialogflow tool / website to support someone with dementia.

Google acquired a company called api.ai back in 2016 – gaining access to an AI bot (voice bot) development platform, that can be used to help develop custom commands for the Google Home platforms, and almost anything else.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/19/google-acquires-api-ai-a-company-helping-developers-build-bots-that-arent-awful-to-talk-to/

I’ll document my experience of:

  • understating and creating a custom interaction
  • testing and validating
  • deploying and using

A work of warning, both the dialog platform, and google branded means to use it for google home development is changing fast, and in the few weeks I’ve being testing it – it has changed. So what I document and write-up here may well have changed by the time you try it!

So what is the custom interaction that I want to create?

The context is that my father with demetia will be left in the flat for sometime, so before leaving my mother would say “ok google betty is going to the hairdresser and will be back at 3”

Now you could do this as “ok google remeber betty is going to the hairdresser and will be back at 3″ – but it will not apply the right context by default – it wont understand betty is a paerson of capture location or time. If you say “ok google what did I ask you to remember” – it will reply with the whole sentance. But that for someone with dementia is not a natural question.

For my father he is more likely to say

  • “where is betty?”
  • “what time will betty be back?”
  • “what time is my wife back?”

So we need to provide some ai learning to enable the breakdown of this exchnage to be more natural. So what is the typical construct?

“ok google betty is going to the hairdresser and will be back at 3”

[Trigger] [Person] is going to the [location] and be back at [time]

With the auto response to say “ok betty is at the hairdressers and will back at 3”, so you know it captured the data correctly.

At some point later one of the questions like “where is betty” will be asked, and the ideal response will be:

[Person] is at [Location] and should be back at [Time], it is now [actual time]

Using Dialog console

[Still to be written up]

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