Troubleshooting Knowledge Skills

The following sections show possible resolutions for common issues with knowledge skills.

The sections cover issues for when Alexa misinterprets the user's question, the response from Alexa is missing the data you uploaded, and the answer is from the wrong source.

Alexa misinterprets the user's question

If Alexa misinterprets the user's question, review the following possible issues.

Issue: Alexa fails to transcribe the speaker's utterance to a correctly spelled text string

Symptoms

Use the Test tab in the developer console to speak your question and see how Alexa interprets it. If Alexa misspells your question, Alexa might be doing this for other users as well. For example, suppose you ask, "Where is Marilee's office?" and Alexa interprets it as, "Where is Mary Lee's office?".

To verify that this is the issue, type your question into the Alexa interface on the Test tab, and determine whether Alexa successfully answers your question.

Try this

You can add Alexa's misspellings to the "alternate names" column for any row that causes such an issue. This issue is a particular problem for uncommon first names and last names. Unfortunately, this solution might not resolve the error 100% of the time. The likelihood of the error increases when Alexa devices are placed in noisy environments, so you might relocate your device to a quieter area.

Issue: Your skill's natural-language understanding fails

Symptoms

First, verify that Alexa correctly transcribes the user's utterance. For details, see Issue: Alexa fails to transcribe the speaker's utterance to a correctly spelled text string.

Next, confirm that you have the data in your knowledge skill that is required to answer the utterance. For details, see Issue: Your knowledge skill lacks the data that the user is asking about.

If you confirm both points, a failure of natural-language understanding is likely your issue.

Try this

Consider using a custom knowledge intent to improve the natural language understanding of your skill. If you're unable to resolve your issue with a custom knowledge intent, this issue might require changes that only the knowledge skill team can make. Please aggregate the issues and submit them through the Submit Feedback link on the left side of the knowledge skill interface so that we can track and resolve the issue.



The response from Alexa is missing the data you uploaded

If the response from Alexa doesn't include the data you uploaded, review the following possible issues.

Issue: Your knowledge skill lacks the data that the user is asking about

Symptoms

Use the Test tab in the developer console to speak your question and see how Alexa interprets it. Make sure that Alexa transcribes your question to text accurately, as described previously. After you confirm that Alexa transcribes your question correctly, check the CSV data file that you uploaded to determine whether it contains the entity (that is, the row) and attribute (that is, the column) about which you are asking. If the data file is missing either of these, the missing entity or attribute is likely the reason for the problem.

Try this

Add the missing data to your CSV data file and then upload the data to your skill again.

Issue: You recently uploaded your data, but Alexa doesn't answer the question

Symptoms

You successfully uploaded your data file within the past five minutes. You are submitting queries that Alexa should be able to answer, but Alexa isn't responding with any answer.

Try this

Wait a few more minutes for Alexa to index your data to your skill. Then, resubmit your query.



The answer is from the wrong source

If the answer that Alexa provides isn't from your knowledge skill, review the following possible issues.

Issue: Alexa returns an answer, but that answer is from a source other than your skill

Symptoms

You successfully uploaded your data file. You are submitting queries that Alexa should be able to answer, but Alexa responds with an answer from a source other than your skill. Examples of other sources include another skill, a first-party answer source like Wikipedia, and so on.

Try this

Currently, you can't override these other answer sources. Please submit your query through the Submit Feedback link on the left side of the knowledge skill interface so that we can track and resolve the issue.

Issue: A knowledge skill other than the one I've selected is answering my questions

Symptoms

You select a skill from the Alexa developer console, but when you ask a question on the Test tab, a different knowledge skill from your developer account answers the question.

Try this

Alexa tests utterances against all knowledge skills under your customer ID, not just the skill specified in the page URL. To test a skill in isolation, disable the interfering skills for your customer ID.