Chatbots Vs. Conversational AI

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Chatbots Vs. Conversational AI

Providing an elevated customer experience is the ultimate goal of every business. Organisations are always looking to go above and beyond by adopting the latest technologies that they know will leave an impact and keep customers happy and satisfied. Chatbots are one of the ways customer service leaders use to meet customers’ needs. 

But those sometimes make the mistake of disregarding the debate of Chatbots Vs. Conversational AI, which costs businesses a great opportunity to advance in the market and stand out with personalised experiences.

As some may use them interchangeably, conversational AI and chatbots are far from similar. Conversational AI is the golden ticket that allows businesses to level up their chatbots and customer communication game. 

What Is the Difference Between Chatbots and Conversational AI?

In its conventional form, referred to as rule-based, a chatbot is a computer software programmed to answer customers' inquiries in a way that imitates a human interaction. The programmer provides the chatbot with data, and it identifies specific keywords within a text and follows predefined rules to manage the conversation flow. 

Conversational AI is more of an umbrella term under which chatbots and virtual voice assistants fall. It is an AI-driven technology that uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to answer text and voice interactions in a way that imitates human interactions- only better than rule-based chatbots. It goes beyond programming and learns based on previous interactions, providing better answers to inquiries that rule-based chatbots fail to address.

So if we want to draw a line between the above-mentioned chatbots and conversational AI, we can say that chatbots are limited to recognising keywords and responding as they were programmed to.

Conversational AI is a technology tool that can be incorporated within a bot, resulting in smarter AI-based chatbots and voice assistants that can develop without any programming and offer an intelligent machine-human interaction. 

How does Conversational AI Work?

The concept of rule-based chatbots is simple. They employ natural language understanding (NLU) to recognise keywords. They use these keywords to offer automated responses determined by their developers. But bots with conversational AI are different. They utilise AI technologies more broadly.

Once an inquiry is submitted, the conversational AI bot uses natural language processing (NLP) to identify spelling errors, synonyms, dialect-related terms and grammatical structures, breaking down the input for the bot to understand it as a human brain would. 

Next, natural language understanding (NLU) comes into play, and deep learning and machine learning models take place. This step allows the conversational AI bot to determine customers’ intent to give the appropriate response. 

With time and more interactions, conversational AI bots acquire more knowledge and become more capable of identifying the different variations of the same questions and intents. Traditional chatbots are incapable of that; any deviation from the predefined question structure will result in a confusing and unsatisfying response. 

Which One Is Better?

There are many aspects to consider to answer this question:

Types of Inputs

Traditional chatbots are designed to analyse text inputs and respond with text outputs only. On the other hand, conversational AI bots can handle both voice and text inputs and provide voice and text outputs. An extra point goes to conversational chatbots here for enabling multilingual communications.


Businesses aren’t giving their best to enhance their customers’ experience if they can’t reach them on different channels. Conversational AI excels here as well. It provides an omnichannel experience, allowing businesses to communicate with customers through their preferred channels. They can be incorporated into a website chat interface, call centres, etc.

Traditional chatbots are single-channel tools. They can only be used as a chat interface on the business website, app or social media platforms. 

Operating Method

As we explained, conventional chatbots are scripted and rely on predefined responses they select based on keywords. To update or revise those responses the chatbot must be reconfigured. 

Conversational AI overcomes the pre-programmed responses barrier. AI-powered bots can learn and improve without programming to maintain personalised human-like interactions.

The way they both operate affects their scalability. Both are scalable, but conventional chatbots are expensive and time-consuming to scale. Conversational AI applications are self-learning, which means they don’t need manual updates. Therefore, they surpass rule-based chatbots in the scalability aspect.

Chatbot Vs. Conversational AI: Final Verdict

Both rule-based chatbots and conversational AI bots eliminate the need for human interaction and ensure customers will obtain real-time responses. But conversational AI is the one that stands out when it comes to the quality of the responses and how humanly they sound. Conversational AI is the one to opt for to enhance customers' experience, boost their satisfaction and maintain their loyalty.   

A Scalable, Multilingual Platform

Transforming your business is EDC’s core goal. We offer a scalable, multilingual conversational AI platform that allows you to take your customer experience to the next level with personalised, human-like interactions. 

Request a demo today to be ahead of the competition.