Intent Detection with WikiHow

Li Zhang, Qing Lyu, Chris Callison-Burch
University of Pennsylvania


Modern task-oriented dialog systems need to reliably understand users' intents. Intent detection is even more challenging when moving to new domains or new languages, since there is little annotated data. To address this challenge, we present a suite of pretrained intent detection models which can predict a broad range of intended goals from many actions because they are trained on wikiHow, a comprehensive instructional website. Our models achieve state-of-the-art results on the Snips dataset, the Schema-Guided Dialogue dataset, and all 3 languages of the Facebook multilingual dialog datasets. Our models also demonstrate strong zero- and few-shot performance, reaching over 75% accuracy using only 100 training examples in all datasets.