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If chatbots and virtual assistants mean the same thing to you then your understanding of these AI applications requires an upgrade. In reality, there’s a significant difference between the two that employees need to know well before an organization introduces chatbots or virtual assistants.
AI applications have evolved at an astounding pace and are providing incredible value. Tech-savvy companies are building AI applications to help organizations boost revenue, augment business productivity, and innovate business operations. Many organizations are therefore extending efforts to identify more and more areas to leverage and derive maximum value from AI.
Chatbots and virtual assistants are ripened fruits of AI, which organizations are actively and significantly utilizing for automating their internal business processes. We can’t deny the fact that these AI applications are not only helping organizations but are also impacting our personal lives too. However, these two ‘intelligent’ applications of AI are often confused as one.
Chatbots are generally used as information acquisition interfaces, such as extracting product details. Virtual assistants can assist in conducting business, like reminding you of meetings, managing your to-do lists, taking down notes and so on. If you ask a chatbot for such virtual assistance, they get confused, and ultimately keep asking the same questions for clarification. Both are considered conversational interfaces, yet both are different from one another.
Hence, it’s critical that organizations understand the differences between chatbots and virtual assistants to apply them wisely.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are automated programs used as a medium to interact with humans via textual or auditory means. This AI-powered software is generally used by organizations to enrich customer service programs. Chatbots hold a crucial place in customer service, wherein they are used as an information acquisition tool. Customers interact with chatbots to clarify their queries regarding a product, gain product-related information, or even book an appointment with the product manager.
What are Virtual Assistants?
A virtual assistant is a digital personal software-based agent that assists us in performing our daily activities like setting clock alarms, scheduling an appointment, making calls, typing messages, and so on. Virtual assistants are similar to personal human assistants that, let’s say, take down notes during a meeting, remind us to tend to our ‘to-do-lists,’ or read messages and emails sent to us. Similarly, virtual assistants help us:
- control and manage smart devices
- check flight status
- get directions
- manage breaking news, etc.
What’s the Difference?
- Chatbots lack ‘understanding’ of human emotions. They provide accurate answers to queries, but fall short of understanding our moods and emotions, and don’t know how to reply accordingly. On the other hand, with the use of advanced natural language processing, virtual assistants can analyze the intricacies of natural language. Therefore, virtual assistants interact with users much more human-like, offering high efficiency and accuracy. However, nowadays, with the help of AI emotional intelligence, chatbots that can gauge human sentiments are being developed.
- The next significant difference occurs in maintaining the conversational flow. While interacting with chatbots, if you break the conversation in between, then the bot will fail to remember the context of the interaction. On the other hand, virtual assistants utilize dynamic conversation flow techniques in order to understand human intent, enriching communications with humans.
Honestly, both chatbots and virtual assistants hold extensive capabilities to help revolutionize business. The critical focus is to identify the right areas of application in your business to leverage both of these AI applications.
December 23, 2018 at 08:30PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs