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Introducing Ontologies from Ivy.ai

Mar 27, 2020 5:37:36 PM / by Jason Fife

Learn More about Ontologies from Ivy.ai

An ontology is defined as “a set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain.” That may sound confusing, but at Ivy.ai, it’s simple. By developing a high volume of chatbots across a wide range of subject areas, we can organize and catalogue the most frequently asked questions for each subject. The result is an organized inventory - like a question bank - that you can use to add the most commonly requested knowledge to your bot’s brain.

Why They Matter

When we build chatbots, we develop their brains using the information that you provide (usually your website, but sometimes also PDFs and other documents). It’s not uncommon for gaps to exist between the questions students ask and the information that was originally provided. We call these questions “missed questions” because the bot is unable to provide an answer, instead referring students to a Live Chat Agent or ticketing system (depending upon your preferences).


Missed questions do get answered through our maintenance process so that future inquiries are answered appropriately, however, this requires that students first ask the question without receiving the correct answer from the bot. While they may receive the answer from a Live Chat Agent or a response to a ticket submission, this results in human intervention and fails to provide information for students that choose not to proceed. In this case, human intervention includes our maintenance process, your contributions to Inbox Zero, and any time spent by your representatives answering Live Chat inquiries or responding to ticket submissions. We believe that’s a significant commitment of your time to a less-than-ideal approach.


With Ontologies, you can be proactive and provide information that wasn’t included on your website that your students will almost certainly request. Ontologies are vehicles by which you can cut-out the middleman to ensure that more of your students receive the information they need, when they need it, in a way that scales your business operation. The questions in each ontology are sorted by frequency, where those at the top are the most frequently asked questions for that subject.


Getting Started

There is no sign-up or activation process - our ontologies are baked-into your Admin System automatically. Adding knowledge is simple. Here’s what to do:

  1. Log in to the Admin System
  2. Navigate to the “Ontologies” Menu

  3. Select an Ontology
    Click the search bar that says “Pick Ontology” to reveal a drop-down menu of available Ontologies. Click one to reveal all questions in that ontology.

  4. Select a Question
    Clicking a question will reveal the Intent Builder. Questions in light text represent questions that need answers, while bold text represent questions for which answers exist.
    Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 3.36.15 PM
  5. Add Knowledge
Be sure to add a “Title” and “Bot Says” information. Your changes are automatically stored, and these questions are already labeled, so your bot will begin using this response immediately.


That’s it! Start using Ontologies today and add high-frequency information that will save your time and delight your students. If you’re not an existing Ivy.ai customer you can schedule a demo to learn more about how our AI suite can help your institution.

Jason Fife

Written by Jason Fife

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