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newuser-c1338430-dd92-4b07-b404-6362225fe0e2 avatar image
newuser-c1338430-dd92-4b07-b404-6362225fe0e2 asked ·

Certain utterances not working for standard built-in intents

1. For our skill, the word "Cancel" doesn't seem to trigger the CancelIntent. I've tried extending the utterance list for CancelIntent from the Skill Builder Beta to include "Cancel" as a sample utterance, but that still doesn't work work. Whether or not it's added to the list, saying it just makes the device beep, and keeps the conversation session alive.

(I want to mention that we have actually defined "Cancel" as a slot value that we're using for one custom intent, which is important for how that conversation session is supposed to be spoken.)

2. As a separate but related issue: our conversations have Alexa saying "What else can I help you with?" at the end of nearly every message, so we wanted certain extra phrases to trigger a StopIntent.

We're trying to extend the StopIntent utterance list using the phrases "That's it", "That's all", "Nothing", and "Nothing else". "That's all" and "Nothing else" work, but "That's it" and "Nothing" don't.

"That's it" / "Nothing" also end up making the device beep, and keep the conversation session alive.

(These aren't custom slot values anywhere.)

3. "Exit" and "Quit" cause a complete shutdown of a conversation - I haven't figured out how to be able to send a session end message for these cases. Adding them to the StopIntent utterance list also doesn't work.

So we have five phrases (Cancel, That's it, Nothing, Exit, and Quit) that we can't seem to really actually use as intent utterances. Do all of these fall under some list of key phrases that we're not allowed to use?

alexa skills kitskillintentsvoice-user interfacebuilt-in library
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Jamie Grossman avatar image
Jamie Grossman answered ·
  1. If you've defined 'cancel' for another custom intent, then that must be why the built in cancel intent isn't working right? When you say cancel, can you confirm that this intent is being hit? Regardless, you shouldn't really be using cancel for other custom intents; you should be trying to get similar functionality through the cancel intent instead of mapping it elsewhere.
  2. Do you have similar slot values to them for other intents? What are the slots for the intent being hit when you say those examples?
  3. An exit message isn't needed; if the user says exit, quit, etc, the skill is ended immediately and abruptly. It should be working for stop though; you just send a normal response and close the session. More info here.
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newuser-35dfdd8f-d68d-41b3-9b6f-87861f6effab avatar image
newuser-35dfdd8f-d68d-41b3-9b6f-87861f6effab answered ·

To me, the easiest way is to substitute the word 'cancel' with a synonym? Just a thought ...

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newuser-c1338430-dd92-4b07-b404-6362225fe0e2 avatar image
newuser-c1338430-dd92-4b07-b404-6362225fe0e2 answered ·

@NewUser-35dfdd8f-d68d-41b3-9b6f-87861f6effab I have tested this out, changing the word "Cancel" to a different word for that custom slot. Saying "Cancel" actually will trigger CancelIntent as expected. But I still want to address the original concern in the following point in response to @Jamie, in case we hear back from our team that using a synonym doesn't meet our their requirements for the Skill we're trying to build.

1. No intent is being hit when "Cancel" is spoken, even outside of the intent for which the custom "Cancel" slot is being used. It just causes the device to make a low beep sound, keeping the conversation open, but not necessarily erroring or quitting out.

To clarify again, we did _not_ define "Cancel" as an utterance to trigger a different intent, we merely defined it as a value for a custom slot used by another different custom intent. This is what is strange to us.. we did not expect there to be a relationship between the two outside of that custom intent.

Now, I was trying to come up with an analogy to see what would happen, and here's what I've just tested. I set "January fifth" as an utterance for Intent 1, and have an Intent 2 take a DATE slot (where a user is supposed to be allowed to say "January fifth", along with any other date of the year).

  • Saying "January fifth" after the Launch message triggers Intent 1
  • Saying "January fourth" when the DATE slot is elicited for Intent 2 correctly fills the DATE slot with the value `2018-01-04` (as expected)
  • Saying "January fifth" when the DATE slot is elicited for Intent 2 actually breaks out of Intent 2 and triggers Intent 1

I'm not sure what we were expecting, but I can understand if this is the expected behavior. However, this is the exact opposite of what's happening for CancelIntent. "Cancel" is supposed to trigger CancelIntent (analogous to Intent 1 above), and we have another intent that takes a custom slot with two defined values, "Change" and "Cancel" (analogous to Intent 2 above).

  • Saying "Cancel" after the Launch message does not trigger any intent - nothing is hit at all. It just causes the device to make the low beep sound we mentioned earlier.
  • Saying "Change" when the custom slot is elicited for the custom intent correctly fills the custom slot with the value "Change" (as expected)
  • Saying "Cancel" when the custom slot is elicited for the custom intent still correctly fills the custom slot with the value "Cancel"

It seems like there's a significant inconsistency here.

2. No, there are no similar slot values for these anywhere, which makes this a different issue than the above point. When a user says "Nothing" or "That's it", no intent is being hit here either. The device just again makes a low beep sound we mentioned earlier. (And again, saying "Nothing else" or "That's all" both properly hit StopIntent.)

3. Yes, "Stop" does expectedly trigger the StopIntent. I was just curious about "Exit" and "Quit", since we had never found documentation that explicitly stated that skills end abruptly (without a chance for an end message) when "Exit" / "Quit" are spoken. That given link doesn't explicitly say it.

For full disclosure, we are in fact speaking very loudly and clearly into actual devices every single time. We're certain that this aren't user issues.

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newuser-c1338430-dd92-4b07-b404-6362225fe0e2 avatar image
newuser-c1338430-dd92-4b07-b404-6362225fe0e2 answered ·

We have a solution for #1 from a conversation with another Amazon representative - modify the custom slot so that "Cancel" is no longer a value for it. Instead, when the slot is elicited and a user is told "Cancel" as an option, saying "Cancel" triggers CancelIntent, with any distinct functionality (from normally running CancelIntent) written into our application logic based on the user's state in the skill.

#3 is not an issue, but we're still looking for what's going on with #2.

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I couldn't reproduce the issue. As this issue sounds local to your skill, I'd suggest getting in touch here with the affected skill name/id and we should be able to investigate further.

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newuser-eab9116f-b486-45db-b075-454d9ede736e avatar image
newuser-eab9116f-b486-45db-b075-454d9ede736e answered ·

change "That's it" to "That is it" will solve #2

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Hari-bea0dc66-d735-4dd8-85e5-5472ecf0e4c3 avatar image
Hari-bea0dc66-d735-4dd8-85e5-5472ecf0e4c3 answered ·

"Nothing" won't work if you are using AMAZON.CancelIntent. You can verify by removing it. I have fixed it by adding custom intent for handling this type of words.

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