Terminology and Human Roles

Expert works the same way as a concierge does: between someone with a request and those that can service the request. We use specific terms to describe the interactions between these people.

Term Definition
Asker A human asking a question (or looking for information)
Subject Matter Expert SMEs are human experts that can answer questions on a specific topic
Fallback Expert A special human expert that answers questions when no other expert is available
Handoff The process assigning a question to another expert
Topic An area or field of expertise. Topics may represent a discipline (e.g., marketing, data science), a technique (e.g., A/B testing, mathematical optimization), a component in a system, or a process.

Fallback Experts

When Expert is initialized, it only knows about one human: the one that installed it. This user is the de factor fallback expert. The fallback will receive every new question that Expert encounters. This responsibility can be overwhelming, so it’s possible to assign other people as fallbacks.

Self-Identifying as a Fallback

A user can self-identify as a fallback. She can simply tell Expert:

  • Make me the fallback
  • I can be a fallback expert

Anyone can self-identify as a fallback

Fallback Confirmation

When a fallback is assigned, Expert will respond with something similar to “Great, I added you as a fallback expert.” This fallback will now receive new questions in topics without SMEs.

Subject Matter Experts

A human expert knowledgeable in a particular topic is known as a subject matter expert (SME). SMEs are assigned to specific topics and only receive questions in those topics. This process reduces noise, since users aren’t distracted by irrelevant questions.

Until SMEs are added, all new questions will be directed to fallback experts.

Self-identifying as a SME

Any user can be a SME. To answer questions for a given topic, just tell Expert:

  • I know about topic

Expert will respond with something like “Great, I added you as an expert in topic.”

Anyone can self-identify as a fallback

Assigning a SME

Any expert (fallback or SME) can assign a user as a SME. The recommended way to assign SMEs is to use the handoff process when receiving a question. This process mimics normal human interaction when an asker is referred to someone else.

Removing Experts

This feature is currently unsupported via an utterance. Please contact support to remove a fallback or SME.