Omar Aftab, Vice President, Conversational AI, March 16, 2023
Today, we’re unveiling a set of cutting-edge generative AI features within Microsoft Power Virtual Agents, designed to revolutionize the way bots are built using simple natural language prompts. This follows and builds upon our recent announcements of bots that can use generative AI to provide tenant-specific answers right out of the box. And the best part? You can preview these exciting new developments right now.
Copilot in Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
Imagine simply describing what you would like your bot to do in natural language and having a complete conversational dialog appear—ready to use in seconds—without painstakingly having to build and curate dialogs step by step.
That future is here. Introducing Copilot in Power Virtual Agents, a new feature that uses the latest generative AI capabilities to make this possible. An author can simply state: “allow a user to start planning an event, collect user’s email address and phone number, and let them choose the event type from wedding, corporate, and social event,” and a dialog to do so will be instantly created—complete with trigger phrases, entities, variables, and appropriate branching. The author can then select part of the dialog and use additional natural language prompts to refine it—or use the Power Virtual Agents intuitive graphical user interface to tweak it manually.
The low-code user experience and Copilot assistant help make bot building accessible for everyone and makes creating conversations—which is already a key strength of Power Virtual Agents—easier than ever before.
Watch it in action and learn more:
Democratizing conversational AI has long been the mission of Power Virtual Agents. Creating bots in the industry has traditionally been a time-consuming process that could take months—or even years. The Power Virtual Agents end-to-end software as a service (SaaS) experience and intuitive user interface already transformed this by making building dialog incredibly easily—even for non-technical bot builders, shortening the development cycle to weeks. And now, with the new Copilot in Power Virtual Agents, bot building is simpler. Using natural language, anyone can create and iterate over topics in minutes.
Copilot in Power Virtual Agents can help:
- Create entire topics from a simple description, including relevant trigger phrases, questions, entity, messages, variables, and other logic.
- Add or update content in an existing topic, such as asking for additional questions to be added or updating existing nodes (example: providing message variations).
- Summarize information collected from a user in an interactive, graphical Adaptive Card, with all the JSON for the card generated automatically.
- Iterate over just part of a dialog—select one or more nodes to scope your request to that specific part of the dialog.
Here are just a few examples of natural language prompts you can use:
- “Let a user check the status of a flight, accepting the flight number and date. For each question, add two message variations.”
- “Accept a user’s name, age, and date of birth, and then repeat their responses back to them.”
- “Create a support ticket, including a title, severity (high/medium/low), description, and an email address to send update notifications to. Summarize the information in an Adaptive Card.”
Bot building, transformed with generative AI
Taken together, the two generative AI features we have announced for Power Virtual Agents transform the traditional model of bot development.
First, our new generative AI conversation boosters in Power Virtual Agents allow bots to chat over your company’s information with just a URL.
When a user query (“how do I upgrade my meter”) doesn’t trigger a manually-created topic, Power Virtual Agents searches for relevant information over a knowledge source that you point it to (for example, your company’s website, internal knowledge base (KB), intranet).
The results are filtered and passed to Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, which summarizes a response for the user.
Bots can then instantly answer hundreds of user questions, out of the box, by chatting over the specified content.
Here are some examples of bots answering company-specific questions, seconds after creation—with no manual intervention.
This addresses a set of long-standing challenges with bots:
- Bots historically need a lot of manual authoring to get started—now they are useful out of the box with no manual dialog creation.
- Most bots only have a few manually authored topics and just escalate to humans when asked about anything else. Now, they can chat over the entire corpus provided, dramatically improving topic coverage and significantly improving both customer chat experience and support deflection.
- Bot content needed to be continually updated and kept in sync with the company website and other knowledge sources as information changed—but now there is no separate bot-specific knowledge to maintain.
When combined with the Power Virtual Agents end-to-end SaaS infrastructure, conversation boosters make it possible to sign up, point to a website, deploy to the Power Virtual Agents SaaS, and have a useful bot live in the channel of your choice within minutes.
That bot can then be expanded easily with manually built dialogs as needed using the powerful Copilot capabilities discussed earlier.
Want a customer bot that can chat over all the content on your website?
An HR bot that can answer employee questions based on your internal HR site? Check out the videos for conversation boosters for both customer-facing bots and employee-facing scenarios, and for our Copilot features, see the preceding sections. Then try it out yourself today.
You can read more about our next-generation AI announcement on the Official Microsoft Blog. Happy bot building!
Both features are currently available in the United States and English language. Note that these preview features are experimental, and accuracy and relevance cannot be guaranteed. These features use the Azure OpenAI Service, managed through the Power Virtual Agents SaaS experience.
Try both features for free now
- Go to the Power Virtual Agents webpage and log in to your existing Power Virtual Agents account or sign up for a free trial.
- After you land in the product, click the ‘Create’ tab on the left navigation menu.
- Click the option to ‘Try the unified canvas (preview)’ to create a bot with the new GPT capabilities.
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