Using Entities in Flowbuilder to recognize timezones


When using the “Recognize Entities”-step in Flow Builder, choosing the relevant time zone is important if you want to recognize the “time” type entity.

Relative time indications

Choosing the correct time zone will make sure that when parsing relative time indication, it is interpreted correctly. Parsing the expression “today” in expressed in Amsterdam could mean another date than “today” expressed in Sydney at the same point in time.

Region-specific time indications

The location selected in the time zone is also important for parsing region-specific time indications. The most important example of this is the way the “10/11/2020”-format is parsed. This specific example could both indicate November 10th, 2020 in the “DD/MM/YYYY” format, as well as October 11th, 2020 in the “MM/DD/YYYY” format.

Example 1

The screenshot below shows how we parse a single date in two different time zones.

The first time zone is “Europe/London”, whereas the second time zone is “America/Chicago”.

The date is parsed differently for both time zones, as the Chicago location uses the MM/DD/YYYY format predominantly.

Example 2

In this screenshot, the time indication “thanksgiving” is parsed for multiple time zones.

Here For the “Europe/London” and “America/Chicago” time zone, it picks the most likely interpretation of Thanksgiving, which is the American date. But if the time zone is specified as “America/Toronto”, the expected Thanksgiving is the Canadian date, as shown in the parsed normalized dates.

If you're interested in doing more with Entity Recognition or have any questions, feel free to drop us a note right away!

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