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Chatbot vs conversational AI: What is the difference

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Chatbot vs conversational AI: What is the difference

In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, chatbots and conversational AI platforms have become increasingly prevalent. These innovative solutions are designed to enhance customer service experiences and streamline communication processes. However, many people are confused about the difference between chatbots and conversational AI. To gain a better understanding, let's delve deeper into the basics and explore the intricacies of these two technologies.

Understanding the Basics: Defining Chatbots and Conversational AI

Before we delve into the differences, it's essential to establish a foundation by defining chatbots and conversational AI. Chatbots, also known as chatterbots or bots, are computer programs designed to simulate human conversation through artificial intelligence. These applications utilize pre-programmed responses based on specific keywords or phrases to interact with users.

Chatbots have come a long way since their inception. Initially, they were simple rule-based systems that could only respond to a limited set of predetermined inputs. However, with advancements in technology, chatbots have evolved to become more intelligent and capable of handling complex conversations.

Conversational AI platforms, on the other hand, is a more advanced form of technology that encompasses chatbots within its framework. It goes beyond the traditional rule-based approach and employs natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to understand and respond to user queries in a manner that closely mirrors human conversation. By leveraging NLP, conversational AI systems can comprehend the meaning behind user queries and generate appropriate responses.

Machine learning, on the other hand, is a subset of artificial intelligence that enables systems to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Conversational AI platforms utilize machine learning algorithms to continuously learn from user interactions and enhance their ability to understand and respond to queries effectively.

With the combination of natural language processing and machine learning, conversational AI platforms can provide a more human-like conversational experience. They can understand user intent, and context, and even detect emotions to deliver personalized and relevant responses.

Conversational AI has found applications in various industries, including customer service, healthcare, fintech, and more. In customer service, conversational AI-powered chatbots can handle routine inquiries, provide instant support, and escalate complex issues to human agents when necessary. In healthcare, conversational AI can assist in symptom assessment, appointment scheduling, and medication reminders. In fintech, conversational AI can help banks and financial institutions can use AI to drive innovation and streamline their operations, such as co-pilot for market analysis and forecasting, financial simulations, and sales concierge for wealth management

As technology continues to advance, the capabilities of chatbots and conversational AI will only grow. The future holds the promise of even more sophisticated systems that can understand and respond to human language with even greater accuracy and nuance.

What is conversational AI?

Conversational AI is rapidly becoming a cornerstone of technological interaction, particularly with the emergence of advanced systems like ChatGPT. This branch of artificial intelligence transforms the way machines interact with humans, making conversations more meaningful and contextually relevant.

At the heart of conversational AI are two critical components: natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language generation (NLG). NLU empowers these systems to decipher and interpret user inputs, while NLG enables them to craft responses that are strikingly human-like. This combination ensures that conversations are not only responsive but also highly personalized.

A standout feature of conversational AI platforms is its dynamic learning ability. Utilizing vast datasets, these systems refine their conversational skills through ongoing analysis of user interactions. This process involves understanding the nuances of language, context, and user preferences, leading to an increasingly smooth and engaging dialogue flow.

Consider a first-time interaction with a conversational AI platform. It meticulously analyzes your queries, considering various factors like context and sentiment. The system then generates pertinent responses, tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. This level of personalization is evident when asking about something as simple as the weather. The system doesn't merely fetch weather data; it contextualizes its response based on your location, preferences, and even time of day, offering a distinctly individualized experience.

The continual improvement of conversational AI is driven by sophisticated algorithms and machine learning techniques. Each interaction is an opportunity for these systems to enhance their understanding and adaptability, making them more adept at managing complex conversations.

The scope of conversational AI extends far beyond its current applications. Its versatility makes it invaluable across various sectors, including customer service, healthcare, education, and more. Its potential to redefine our interaction with technology is immense, promising a future where technology is not just a tool but a conversational partner, intuitive, efficient, and uniquely attuned to individual needs.

What is a chatbot?

While chatbots are a component of conversational AI, they serve a specific purpose. Chatbots are primarily designed to automate customer interactions by providing instant responses to common queries or inquiries. They can be deployed on various platforms, such as websites, messaging apps, and social media channels, allowing businesses to engage with their customers 24/7.

Chatbots often excel at handling routine tasks and providing quick information. However, their capabilities may be limited when it comes to understanding complex queries or engaging in more sophisticated conversations that require nuanced comprehension.

Chatbots have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to enhance customer service and improve efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and providing instant responses, chatbots can save businesses time and resources. They can handle a wide range of customer inquiries, such as providing product information, answering frequently asked questions, and even processing simple transactions.

One of the key advantages of chatbots is their availability 24/7. Unlike human customer service representatives who have limited working hours, chatbots can provide instant assistance at any time of the day or night. This round-the-clock availability ensures that customers can receive support and information whenever they need it, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

However, it's important to note that chatbots have their limitations. While they are great at handling routine tasks and providing quick responses, they may struggle with understanding complex queries or engaging in more sophisticated conversations. Chatbots rely on predefined scripts and algorithms to generate responses, which means they may not always understand the context or nuances of a conversation.

Despite these limitations, chatbots are constantly evolving and improving. With advancements in natural language processing and machine learning, chatbots are becoming more capable of understanding and responding to complex queries. They are also being integrated with other AI technologies, such as sentiment analysis and voice recognition, to enhance their conversational abilities.

Overall, chatbots are a valuable tool for businesses looking to automate customer interactions and provide instant support. While they may not be able to replace human customer service representatives entirely, they can complement their efforts and improve efficiency. As technology continues to advance, chatbots will likely become even more sophisticated, enabling them to handle increasingly complex queries and engage in more natural and human-like conversations.

What is an example of a conversational AI bot?

Here are some prominent examples that showcase the power of AI-powered conversation.

1. The Familiar Voice: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant

These household names are the faces (or, rather, voices) of conversational AI. Found on Apple devices, Amazon Echo devices, and Android smartphones respectively, these virtual assistants seamlessly integrate into our daily routines. From setting alarms and playing music to answering questions and controlling smart home devices, they're the jack-of-all-trades of the AI world.

2. Conversational AI Application or Technology beyond Chatbot

Educational chatbots like Duolingo's bot help users practice languages, while mental health chatbots offer emotional support and guidance.

Sendbird's ChatGPT-powered chatbot takes things a step further, leveraging the power of OpenAI's ChatGPT technology to deliver personalized, informative, and engaging conversations, tailored to the specific needs of businesses.

Chatbot vs Conversational AI: Which One is More Effective for Customer Service?

When it comes to customer service, the effectiveness of chatbots versus conversational AI depends on various factors. Chatbots can provide immediate responses, offer basic information, and handle simple tasks efficiently. They are particularly beneficial for businesses with a high volume of repetitive inquiries.

Conversational AI, on the other hand, can provide a more engaging and personalized user experience. With their advanced language processing capabilities, conversational AI platforms can understand and respond to complex queries in a more human-like manner. This ability to interpret context and sentiment enhances the overall customer interaction, making it more conversational and natural.

Businesses that prioritize providing exceptional customer experiences or handling complex queries may find conversational AI to be a more effective solution. However, it's essential to evaluate the specific requirements and objectives of the business before making a decision.

Choosing the Right Solution: Factors to Consider When Implementing Chatbots or Conversational AI

Implementing chatbots or conversational AI platforms require careful consideration of various factors. Some key factors to evaluate are:

  1. Objectives: Clearly define the objectives and goals of implementing the technology. Determine whether the priority is immediate response, automation of repetitive tasks, or delivering personalized experiences.

  2. Customer Profiles: Understand the target audience and their preferences. Analyze the types of queries or interactions they commonly have and evaluate whether chatbots or conversational AI platforms would be better suited to address their needs.

  3. Scalability: Consider the scalability and potential growth of the business. Chatbots may be more suited for businesses with lower volumes of interactions, while conversational AI platforms can handle larger volumes and more complex customer queries.

  4. Resources: Assess the available resources in terms of technology, budget, and expertise. Chatbots may require less initial investment, while conversational AI platforms may necessitate more significant investments in terms of development and maintenance.

By carefully weighing these factors and aligning them with the specific requirements of the business, organizations can determine whether chatbots or conversational AI platforms will be the most effective solution for specific customer experiences such as customer support or sales concierge.


Chatbots and conversational AI are transforming the way businesses interact with customers. While chatbots provide automated responses and handle routine tasks efficiently, conversational AI sets itself apart by delivering more engaging and personalized experiences.

The choice between chatbots and conversational AI depends on the specific requirements and objectives of the business. By carefully considering factors such as objectives, customer profiles, scalability, and available resources, organizations can make an informed decision and implement the most suitable technology.

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