When we speak about automated human-computer digital interactions, the line between chatbots and conversational AI can start to blur. Oftentimes, chatbots and conversational AI are used synonymously—but they shouldn’t be. So, is conversational AI different from a chatbot? We’re here to help you understand how they’re connected and which is best for your business. 


What is a traditional chatbot?

The most basic types of chatbots, known as rule-based chatbots, are decision-tree, menu-based, script-based, button-based, or basic chatbots. They communicate through pre-programmed rules for example: if the client says "X," you respond with "Y" which resembles a decision tree workflow.

Customer support bots are chatbots that mimic automated phone menus, in which the customer must make a series of selections to reach the answers they're seeking. It's perfect for answering FAQs and addressing basic client issues.

As machine learning and natural language processing become more advanced, AI customer service chatbots are increasingly being used to provide quick and helpful responses to customers. These bots can learn from past conversations with customers, so they keep getting better over time.

Both types of chatbots provide a layer of friendly self-service between your business and its customers.

What is conversational AI?

Conversational AI is a category of artificial intelligence that enables machines to understand and respond to spoken and written communication. In customer support, this technology is applied in order to converse with consumers in a human-like manner. This functionality may be provided through a bot in a messaging channel or by the use of your voice assistant on your phone. Conversational AI aids deep learning algorithms in determining user intent and language comprehension via a vast quantity of training data.

Consider how conversational AI technology could help your business—and don’t get stuck behind the curve. Speak to our team and learn about Tengai’s conversational AI tool.


How chatbots relate to conversational AI

Chatbots are a type of conversational AI, but not all chatbots are conversational AI. Rule-based chatbots use keywords and other language identifiers to trigger pre-written responses. These are not built on conversational AI technology.

Conversational AI chatbots are especially great at replicating human interactions, leading to an improved user experience and higher agent satisfaction. Live agents can focus on more complex customer issues that need a human touch, while automated bots may handle simple inquiries. This lowers wait times and allows agents to devote less time on repetitive questions.

Although this software may seem similar, you shouldn't confuse it with traditional chatbots. AI chatbot software is a type of AI that uses natural language processing (NLP) and understanding (NLU) to create human-like conversation. While traditional chatbots can still speak with humans, their capabilities are much more limited. Chatbots usually only respond to keywords and are designed mostly for website navigation help.

Here’s a breakdown of the different features you can expect in conversational AI vs chatbots:


Conversational AI


Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Contextual awareness


Intent understanding


Integration, scalability, and consistency



Related post: Why choose Tengai unbiased over a chatbot.

Conversational AI is the new customer service norm

Conversational AI and other AI solutions will remain a part of customer service for the foreseeable future. According to a survey by PwC study, 52% of businesses have increased their use of automation and conversational interfaces because of COVID-19. The survey also found that 86 percent of respondents consider AI to be "mainstream technology" in their organization.

The most successful businesses are ahead of the curve with regard to adopting and implementing AI technology in their contact and call centers. To stay competitive, more and more customer service teams are using AI chatbots such as Zendesk’s Answer Bot to improve customer experience.

Get started with Conversational AI and Tengai today

Tengai Unbiased can help you offer your consumers exceptional conversational-AI centered service. With our self-learning chatbot, turn client discussions into useful engagements.

Tengai's conversational AI is designed to act and behave in a realistic manner. This is critical to improving your customer experience. What sets our software apart is the engaging experience Tengai offers from start to finish. Some have inquired if a chatbot would be just as efficient, but it's key that Tengai is a conversational AI robot in order to create an immersive client experience.

If you’d like to learn more about how Tengai can enhance your recruitment process through conversational AI, reach out to us and book a demo.

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