What is an AI Chatbot? Here's What You Need to Know (+Infographics)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is here for the long haul and is making leaps and bounds in how it can optimise business processes.

You never know, AI chatbots could be the next solution to make you go, “wow, why didn’t I think of using this sooner?”

But what is an AI Chatbot? Is it the same thing as the average chatbot?

What is an AI chatbot?

To set the foundation for understanding AI chatbots, you should know that all AI chatbots are indeed chatbots but not all chatbots are AI chatbots.

That being said, what is a chatbot?

Chatbots are software programs that engage in online conversations with humans automatically, typically via text. 

The benefit of chatbots, in general, is that they generate automated responses alleviating the need for a human representative to respond. 

Now, to be more specific, what are AI chatbots

AI chatbots are software programs that understand spoken or written human language based on Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities.

what is an ai chatbot?

This means that an AI chatbot can detect the intent of a query that a user types in and deliver the best response it deems fit. 

Machine learning is also an important aspect of AI chatbots, as this allows the AI chatbots to more or less learn and improve based on experience.

What’s the difference between AI chatbots and chatbots?

We can break it down even further.

A good way to understand the difference between AI chatbots and normal chatbots is to specify the names in a descriptive way, such as conversational AI chatbots and rule-based chatbots respectively.

Just by categorising these bots in this way, you can tell a little bit more about each just from the name.

The main thing that separates the two is that AI chatbots allow the user to dictate the conversation, whereas rule-based chatbots make users follow a pre-programmed conversation flow.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to differentiate the two:

Blog visuals (15)

Conversational AI chatbots:

  • Natural language processing
  • Machine (deep) learning
  • Learn from collected data overtime
  • Respond in complete sentences
  • Allow user to type responses freely

Rule-based chatbot:

  • Operates by pre-programmed commands
  • Doesn’t need large data set to output response
  • User can only input what the chatbot allows them to
  • Doesn’t adapt over time without human intervention

What are the benefits of AI chatbots?

✅ Efficient customer service

One of the main benefits businesses love about AI chatbots is that it makes customer service more efficient. Diligent and personal service doesn’t always have to require human support via live chat.

✅ They gather and learn from customer data

By taking advantage of the previous live chat history that has taken place on your website, AI bots are able to learn and respond based on real conversations that you’ve had with customers in the past.

When you train your AI chatbots based on customer conversation history, your bots are also becoming more accurate. Evidence of patterns in previous conversations are a good indicator of what answers customers are frequently seeking.

✅ Provide support 24/7

Another benefit of AI chatbots is that they are available 24/7 and respond to customers instantly. You can provide personalised conversations around the clock, even in multiple languages in some cases.

chatbot statistics

Overall, after the initial data is collected, AI chatbots require low manual maintenance. 

How to get the most out of your AI chatbot

If you want to get the most out of your AI chatbot, you’ll need to align certain elements to put it in a position to succeed.

There are a few things you’ll want to do with your AI chatbot, like:

🤖  Establish a knowledge base 

🤖  Route your chatbot to live chat

🤖  Continually audit the AI bot responses

1. Establish a knowledge base

First, what is a knowledge base? 

A knowledge base is a collection of stored information in a computer system. 

In the case of AI chatbots, the knowledge base is structured information stored from previous conversations.

AI chatbots are most successful when they can be trained based on real conversations that took place between a representative and website visitor.

When an AI chatbot can deliver responses that actual humans have delivered in the past, it makes this interaction with the chatbot more conversational.

Also, you can rest assured that if you have been asked a certain question in the past, the AI can be trained to answer it naturally in the future.

All thanks to a well-compiled knowledge base. 

AI chatbot knowledge base

2. Route to live chat

Routing your AI chatbot to live chat is a great idea because there will be occasions when your chatbot can’t answer a question. 

There’s nothing more frustrating than a chatbot that keeps giving an inaccurate answer or a “sorry, I don’t know the answer to that” over and over again.

Instead of making the user type in “REPRESENTATIVE” ten times in the chat, offer the option to speak to a live representative after 1 or 2 inaccurate answers.

Honestly, an interaction like the one detailed above is the reason chatbots have such a bad reputation. Don’t make it hard for your website visitors to get support when they need it.

An AI chatbot is a great solution but is even more powerful when linked to live chat when necessary.

3. Continually audit AI chatbot responses

A big part of the appeal of AI chatbots is that after the initial setup and training, not much human intervention and manual adjustments are needed.

However, it’s wise to still audit your AI chatbots and not let them reign free for months at a time without a good old quality check.

Depending on the chatbot platform you are using, there are a few different ways you can go about auditing your bot performance.

One way to do this is by asking the user how satisfied they were with their interaction with this chatbot. This is a great opportunity for a quick NPS survey.

ai chatbot auditing

Another way to assure your AI chatbot is operating at top quality is by using an internal system to check the questions that have been asked and the response the chatbot has given.

If they match correctly, you can approve those responses, and if the bot response doesn’t match the question, you can train the bot to answer differently.

These regular checks will help ensure your AI chatbot is as consistent in delivering customer support as possible.

Learn more about AI chatbots

Still wanting to learn more about AI chatbots and also the best platforms to create your own? Head to our blog post 20 Best AI Chatbot Platforms to get even more inside information on conversational AI.

Chatbots , AI