What’s the difference between Chatbots and Conversational AI?

What's the difference between Chatbots and Conversational AI?

In the past few years, businesses were falling all over themselves to get a chatbot up and running for their business. And for some reason, that phase has faded.

While chatbots are still a popular option for businesses, there is a new focus on Conversational AI (CAI). So what is the difference between chatbots and conversational AI? And do you need either of them for your business?

Let’s dive into the difference between chatbots and conversational AI.

Chatbots and conversational AI are two terms we’ve heard a lot about in the last couple of years. But for those who are still unfamiliar, here’s a quick breakdown.

Chatbots are chat-based interfaces that use rules to understand user intent and reply accordingly. The most famous example is probably the chatbot that Microsoft made to help you get around their products and services.

The first generation of chatbots, which appeared in the late 60s, were very primitive. But today, with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots have evolved a lot. They are now capable of having conversations and understanding complex sentences.

This blog will look at the differences between Chatbot and Conversational AI. It will also discuss the factors that determine the quality of a Conversational AI in the long run.

What’s the difference between a chatbot and conversational AI?

Though chatbots and conversational AI are often referred to interchangeably, they are in fact, two different technologies that serve very different purposes. The difference between the two is that chatbots are only good at offering information but conversational AI can build a relationship with a user. It can begin a conversation to start with and learn about a user.

Let’s take a deeper look.

  1. A chatbot is a software program designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with the end goal of completing a task. The chatbot can be trained and programmed to respond to certain keywords, phrases, and sentences. It can also be set up to take specific actions based on the user’s input.

For example, a chatbot can be trained to respond to the keyword “shoes” with a link to a shoe store or the keyword “help” and then connect the user to a customer service representative. Chatbots are usually easy to build and deploy, and they can be used to interact with users without needing to install an app.

  1. On the other hand, Conversational AI is a different beast altogether. It’s not a program that has been designed to respond to keywords and trigger actions. It understands and reacts to the overall meaning of what the user is saying and how he or she is saying it. It’s more human. It’s faster, more efficient, and provides a better overall user experience.

What is conversational AI?

In a nutshell, conversational AI is a method of interacting with computers through natural language. It involves both speech recognition and natural language understanding to create a more human-like experience.

Conversational AI is a new technology that is being integrated into virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Rather than users typing in queries, you can now speak to them, like Siri or Cortana. Although the tech is new, it’s rapidly gaining popularity.

How does it work?

Users can simply say a business’ name or command, and the AI will understand them and do the task they’re asking of it. For example, if you wanted to make a reservation at a restaurant, you would simply say “I want to make a reservation at X restaurant” rather than typing it in.

Which is better?

The rise of conversational AI has come to prominence in recent times, with the debate between chatbots vs conversational AI continuing. Both bots and conversational AI have their pros and cons, but which is better?

The use of conversational AI has, in recent times, become more widespread as businesses look to improve their customer service. You see, a conversational AI can answer a question in a way that is more natural to a human, as opposed to a chatbot, which is more functional.

While conversational AI is the smarter of the two, chatbots have their advantages. If a customer wants to purchase a product, for example, conversational AI would have to send them off to the checkout page and have them complete a transaction there. A chatbot, on the other hand, can be programmed to complete the transaction through the messaging app. It is this advantage that has given rise to the ongoing debate between chatbots vs conversational AI.

However, the fact is that conversational AI has a greater ability to anticipate a consumer’s needs, while chatbots are better at providing more functional responses.

What are the challenges of conversational AI?

AI-powered chatbots have several advantages such as improving the user experience, increasing brand loyalty and sales. However, it is not an easy task to deploy a chatbot that can retain the same level of experience as a human being. This means that it needs to be trained well and the training needs to be updated regularly.

The biggest challenge with creating and building conversational AI services is not the technology infrastructure, but the fact that these services require that people use them. People need to be willing and able to use these services. Sometimes people are simply not ready to use new technologies, even though they may want to.

This is why it’s important to make sure that you focus on your customers, and not only on technology. Always keep in mind that people use these services to solve their problems, and may not be ready to deal with a conversational AI experience just yet.

Perhaps, one of the biggest challenges is the fact that chatbots are only good at one thing, which is to converse.

  • They are not intelligent and they don’t have emotions.
  • They are simply programmed to respond to certain keywords. In most cases, a chatbot is used to ask simple questions and get simple answers. But there are times when users want more than just the answer to the question.
  • They want to know how someone feels about a certain topic, or what that person thinks.
  • They want to know if the bot is capable of having a conversation.
  • It is possible to create a bot that can have a conversation, but it is going to take a lot of work. There are bots on the market that can have a conversation, but most of them are not very good. They don’t understand the meaning of certain words or don’t pick up on certain cues.

Overcoming these challenges is a unified process that involves gaining empathy for the end-users, understanding the limitations of current technology, and utilizing a clean and simple format.

When designing conversational AI, it is important to understand the target users and their behavior.

The first step is to define who the end-users are and what they want. This can be done in the form of a persona. A persona is a detailed description of a typical end-user. It describes each user’s goals, behaviors, and motivations. A persona allows the team to create a human-like character that can be applied to design, development, and testing.


Voice is the next frontier when it comes to a user interface, with conversational AI, businesses can take advantage of the latest technology to transform how their companies and employees operate.

Author Profile

Rajesh Ramachandran
Rajesh Ramachandran
Expertise in regulatory and product compliance with over 15+ years of industry experience. Rajesh is an experienced business operations manager who provides his clients with integrity, knowledge, and strategic support on issues including regulatory and product compliance.

One response to “What’s the difference between Chatbots and Conversational AI?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More like this

Elevate Your Business With DialDesk

What are you waiting for?

Get started with DialDesk
Tell us about yourself

    Contact Sales

    Primary need

    Additional info?


    By clicking this, I accept the terms and conditions & privacy policies.

    Create your own personalised Customer winning map

    Customer Winning Map


    is the apt framework developed for deploying the right mix of People, Process & Technology in a business with a clear eye on increasing lead conversion, reducing customer acquisition & management cost, and winning customers for life.

    By clicking this, I accept the terms and conditions & privacy policies.