Create a topic with Copilot Studio’s build in Copilot

Shows an animated GIF to create a topic in Power Virtual Agent using a Copilot prompt

With European release news just around the corner I want to share my new series with you. Create your own Human Resource Copilot for your employees. Unburden your HR staff but also important, let employees engage in a manner of their choosing! In this series I want to also share with you all the cool things you can do with both Generative AI technology included in Copilot Studio. Both for building your chatbot with a prompt as well as consuming it. And I also share all the neat new features that are now possible with the new authoring experience.

Shows the Power Virtual Agent authoring and test canvas. This is the result of the Copilot prompt to create the topic.
Take day off

To start of this series I want to lay some ground work. Let’s create a topic to request a day off. In this post I show you how to create your topic using a prompt to the Copilot Studio’s Copilot. I will also share some of my experience with making changes with Copilot in topics.

Advanced settings

Let’s dive right in and build our chatbot! With general availability of the new authoring canvas, the creation experience also changed for the better. Go to the Copilot Studio portal. Until generative features are deployed in Europe I use a developer environment in the United States region. Just so we can use all the Copilot stuff which will increase our productivity.

Click on create a chatbot, enter the name of your bot and the language. before you press “save “Create” I want you to STOP and PAUSE. I want you to press “Edit advanced options” first! Because there are two things I want to do always do here.

  1. Turn off the lessons topic. If I create a chatbot I immediately delete these anyways.
  2. Select the solution I want to work in. Solutions are how you organize your Power Platform work. Copilot Studio uses a lot of Power Platform components, the solutions concept is one to learn. It will allow you to transfer your Copilot to the next environment, from development to production for example.
Shows the advanced options screen of the Power Virtual Agents bot creation experiences. It highlights the include lesson topic checkbox and where you can add the bot to a solution.
Advanced Options

Now that we’ve set-up the basics we can create and enjoy that sweet new animated GIF of the platform building our bot.

Shows an animated GIF that plays while you wait when creating a new chatbot for Power Virtual Agents
New Bot Gif

Prompt all the topics

With our bot created, it is time to create the topic. For our first topic I want employees to be able to request a vacation day. And when you request a day off you need to choose dates and specific leave types. Now with the Copilot available in Copilot Studio, you can let Copilot do the ground work for your topic creation. I create this topic with the following prompt:

“Let someone request days of, let them choose a from and to date in the future and let them choose from different leave types”

Shows an animated GIF to create a topic in Power Virtual Agent using a Copilot prompt
Create topic with Copilot prompt

This will generate a nice starting point for us to start building our topic. Notice Copilot generates a few trigger phrases and also adds relevant leave types. A great productivity boost when creating authored topics.

Copilot Prompt in a Topic

Now that we have a topic we of course need to check if what is generated is correct. And change it the way we want. We can also utilize Copilot to add or change nodes. Open the copilot with the icon in the top right and then type your request. If you want to change 1 or more nodes you can select them in the authoring canvas. But is this actually useful?

Let’s try, for example, to add extra leave type options. Select the node and enter a prompt like: “Add extra leave type options”. This works like a charm.

Shows how to add options to a questions using the Power Virtual Agent Copilot
Add Leave Types using Copilot

Upon first inspection of what Copilot generated for us, I see that the answers type from the question “” is not correct. I want this answer to be a date. Now this is something I did not manage to change with Copilot. I tried a few different prompts, but even though the feedback I got is that it changed my node, it did not work.

The Verdict So Far

Upon experimenting with Copilot inside the authoring canvas the above 2 examples are good examples of what works good and what does not. I can not (yet) recommend utilizing Copilot to change technicalities of specific nodes. Utilizing Copilot to help you with language tasks works extremely well. Use it for adding trigger phrases and message variation.

However, for creating a starting point for your topic it’s great. I use it all the time now. Even for just generating a blank topic with a prompt like “Create a topic with only a trigger where the user can call in sick” works great. I no longer have to break my mind trying to come up with trigger phrases, I can immediately start building.

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