Do All Chatbots Use Artificial Intelligence?

By Published On: October 5th, 2018Categories: chatbots

Many users have false expectations regarding chatbots and what they are capable of. Most chatbots are far from behaving like a human being and have an answer to all user problems.


Many chatbots are programmed for a specific use case and can only help users within this previously defined framework. Nevertheless, they are a great help and they have become almost indispensable for corporate communication. But why can some bots answer all kinds of requests while others cannot? And which type of chatbot is best for your company?




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Which types of chatbots exist?


There are two main chatbot types: rule-based and AI-based chatbots.



Rule-based chatbots


For a rule-based chatbot, possible user entries and the corresponding answers are defined in advance. If a question is asked that has not been previously defined, the chatbot will not be able to assist in answering the question.


To process the voice input, rule-based chatbots search for previously defined keywords. Depending on which keywords are found, the appropriate answer is given.


The more complex a system becomes, the more difficult it will be to cover all relevant scenarios and create appropriate rules. Especially if data changes within a short time, the manual adjustment takes an immense amount of time. That’s why, rule-based chatbots are only useful for a very limited scope of tasks, as long as the necessary data does not change regularly.


There are already a great number of rule-based bots out there. Sparkasse has developed the bot “Der Bote der Sparkasse“, which allows users to create individual videos in order to claim money debts from their friends. Another example is the bot of the insurance group ARAG. It helps users to configure their travel insurance before they are forwarded to the company’s website for insurance completion.



AI-based chatbots


Unlike rule-based bots, AI-based bots are able to learn on their own. In the first step, they train with a sample data set. The chatbot uses this test dataset to deduce regularities and derive further answers from them. Once the bot is in use, each new voice input is used to continue learning.


Besides the ability to learn, the voice input is processed differently. This is done using Natural Language Processing (NLP). This means AI-based bots do not search for keywords, but try to analyze the voice input by using the context.


But just because a chatbot is based on AI doesn’t mean that it is suitable for any topic or problem. There is a vertical and a horizontal AI. Chatbots with a vertical AI are configured for one task. But they do it very well, so they can almost be confused with a human being. In contrast, chatbots that have a horizontal AI can help with various tasks.


Well-known examples of AI-based bots are the chatbot Mitsuku, which can talk to users about any subject. Another well-known example is Cleverbot. Users can talk with the bot about more or less anything





Which chatbot type do I need for my business


Which chatbot type works best for your business depends on two factors: the use case and the available budget. Therefore, you should know what you want your bot to do and what budget you have available in advance.


For example, if you need a bot that can perform a very limited number of clearly defined tasks, such as taking orders or issuing the weather report, it might be sufficient to use a rule-based bot. An AI-based bot is the better choice if the bot is used for different tasks or to solve more complex problems such as customer service for example.


Another crucial factor to consider is the available budget or working hours you need to build the bot. In general, a rule-based bot can be implemented much cheaper and with less work.



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Wanna learn more about chatbots, voice assistants and AI for your business? Check out the following articles:

rule-based and AI-based chatbots
rule-based and AI-based chatbots