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The importance of intent recognition in speech tech for kids


Intent recognition is the natural language understanding (NLU) task of determining what general goal a user is trying to accomplish (e.g., finding out the weather forecast, booking a table at a restaurant, or adding a song to a playlist). What's tricky is there are many ways users may express an intent. For example, "Turn on the light" and "It's too dark in here; make it brighter" are just two of a plethora of ways of expressing the same "Light on" intent to a smart home device, but the two utterances are completely different on the surface in terms of syntax and vocabulary. A good intent recognizer should map both of those utterances to the same intent. More generally, a well-trained recognizer can account for the many ways people may express their goals in natural language and map them to the correct intent, which then triggers an action or response.