• Yashika

From Chatbots to Virtual Assistants: Evolution of Conversational AI

Updated: May 9

There has been a paradigm change in how we interact with computers. Earlier it was Web, then came in the Apps, and now is the era of Intelligent Assistants. The evolutionary journey with the wave of advanced technology of voice-driven assistants is somewhere seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. Here, the terms like chatbot and virtual assistant have been frequently used to refer to conversational interfaces that reply to user inputs.

What are Chatbots and Intelligent Virtual Assistants?

With the advent of Chatbots and then Virtual Assistants, there has been a lot of ambiguity associated with the two technologies. There is a significant difference between them, where the former is more business-oriented the latter is user-oriented. Both feature a human interface system with in-built replies to understand what the user is saying and give appropriate replies.

Chatbots are computerized programs that are used as a medium of interaction with customers through texts or auditory methods. An online simple chatbot platform is programmed to deliver scripted responses and automated chatbots are coded with basic instructions for what the bot should do. Customers can give basic instructions or ask queries regarding a product or service to the bot.

Whereas, an Intelligent Virtual Assistant is a result of advancement in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. The personal software-based agent has significantly enhanced the capabilities of chatbots. Also, it is more adaptable to the context of the speech or text inputs and assists in performing activities like setting an alarm, scheduling an appointment, making calls, and more.

Both hold abilities to control, manage and upgrade the functioning of the business but the emphasis is to recognize the appropriate area of utilization for these AI applications. Here, the basic concept is centrally the same but the difference lies in the scope, complexity, and capability of the solutions.

The Evolution of Conversational AI

AI applications are radically evolving and providing incredible value to the way businesses work and chatbots energized by AI are converting into a significant customer care channel. This much-awaited technology has a huge potential for businesses to speed up their growth. For brands to enforce Conversational AI solutions it is crucial to comprehend the capabilities of these solutions to automate customer care and sales.

Though chatbots provide accurate answers to the queries but somewhere lacks the understanding of human emotions and mood. Even as the conversational flow became more defined, chatbots had limited scope as there was no learning process involved and the responses they could deliver were those they had been programmed with. Also, if you break a conversation with a chatbot, the bot will fail to remember the context of the communication. It has now developed and equipped with natural language processing and machine learning that is generally operated by businesses to enhance their customer service programs. These have enabled it to evolve gradually into Intelligent Virtual Assistants.

Natural Language Processing allows a bot to interact with the customer in natural language and easily understand their queries. Machine Learning technology helps it inculcate data such as previous customer service interactions to learn how to interact with customers to provide solutions efficiently. These together support chatbots with deep domain knowledge to improve customer care services.

Virtual Assistants can analyze the complexities of natural language and interact with users more human-like, offering efficiency and accuracy of answers. It can understand human intent, retain context, and can perform a wider range of tasks. Intelligent Virtual Assistants facilitate seamless voice-driven experiences. Therefore, the latest developments of Intelligent Assistants are programmed by the advancement in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, and voice recognition technology. A well-defined interface built with advanced cognitive computing allows it to carry out multi-step requests and perform complex tasks such as making an online purchase.

Today, companies are incorporating AI applications to boost revenues, update business operations, and for the growth of the overall business. These are being utilized for automating the internal business processes.

At a Glance

By now, you might have developed an understanding related to the evolution of Conversational AI, along with the different capabilities of a chatbot and a virtual assistant. Despite the rapid changes in technology, virtual assistants can transform the way your brand interacts with its customers and has an edge over chatbots. Brands have to effectively recognize the ever-increasing number of its usage to get the best outcome from AI and on the whole, this will help encourage brand dependability.