What is conversation AI

What is the difference between chatbots and conversational AI?


Artificial intelligence now plays a central role in customer service. Along with this, new technologies such as chatbots, conversational AI or machine learning keep coming onto the market. But with all the buzzwords, very few people know what exactly is behind them.

Chatbot and conversational AI in particular are terms that are used more and more frequently in the context of artificial intelligence and customer support and are often used synonymously. There are two different things behind both terms. You can find out what these are in this article.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is typically a rule-based software system designed to automate certain interactions with people. Since they only serve a specific purpose and are therefore supposed to follow a certain sequence, they are relatively easy to build.

However, this also means that a chatbot can only provide answers or reactions to a previously defined question or instruction. His answers are therefore already determined in advance and there is only a limited scope for the course of the conversation.

In practice, a chatbot is more likely to give fixed answers to questions than to have a real conversation with a person. A chatbot is therefore particularly suitable as a replacement or addition to the FAQ area and, for example, answers questions about an order or the availability of customer support.

Conversational AI is more than a simple chatbot

Although many companies see conversational AI as just another type of chatbot, there is a lot more to it than that. Because Conversational AI goes far beyond a conventional chatbot and thus sets the new standard for the customer experience.

Gartner also confirms this trend. One study assumes that by 2021 15% of all global customer interactions will be handled entirely with artificial intelligence. This results in an increase of 400% compared to 2017. For this reason, 40% of the bot applications launched in 2018 will also become obsolete by 2020.

How does Conversational AI differ from a conventional chatbot?

The answer is simple: Conversational AI enables people to communicate with applications, websites or devices in their language. Conversational AI goes far beyond the question-and-answer game of a simple chatbot. While the chatbot is particularly suitable for text-based conversations, the Conversational AI can be operated both via text and voice.

Natural conversations thanks to natural language processing

This is made possible by what is known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). This enables Artificial Intelligence to convert a person's spoken or written input into words or sentences that they can analyze. The AI ​​then formulates the best possible answer based on the available data.

Conversational AI more attractive for customers and companies

In direct comparison, the Conversational AI is more powerful than a standard chatbot, even if in the end it is a communication assistant in both cases. For example, conversational chatbots can process several requests at the same time, while a simple chatbot needs two independent messages for this.

The following example illustrates the problem:

Chatbot: "How can I help you?

Customer: "I want to update my credit card information, but I've locked my account.

A simple chatbot only responds to the first request and ignores the second. In the future, however, a conversational bot will be able to process both concerns and respond to them at the same time during the conversation. Since the AI ​​also remembers personal preferences, conversations are much more natural and lead to less frustration than conventional chatbots. From the customer's point of view, conversational AI is therefore much more attractive. Exciting times are ahead of us.

But smart chatbots are now also making more sense than their simple variants for companies. Because they enable real conversations with customers, which means you can relieve the support team enormously without sacrificing quality.

In addition, the integration of a conversational AI into corporate communication usually works better. All conversational chatbots in the company access the same data sources and thus enable uniform communication on all channels. It makes no difference whether a customer communicates with the company via Facebook or the website, as they receive the same quality everywhere.

Conversational AI brings real added value

So chatbots and conversational AI are not the same thing. Rather, Conversational AI is a further development of conventional chatbots that enable authentic conversations between a person and the virtual helper.

So simple chatbots can be a good place to start, especially when it comes to text-based communication. Sooner or later, however, you will notice that chatbots can only offer real added value for customers through conversational AI.

Would you like to learn more about Conversational AI? In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence.