Difference Between Chatbot & Virtual Assistant

You are probably not aware of the difference between chatbots and virtual assistants. Well, you will get to know more and why the difference can help your business.


In the constantly evolving world of the 21st century, Artificial Intelligence has taken the driver's wheel in almost all sectors. As artificial intelligence grows exponentially, enterprises worldwide are trying hard to find prospective areas to get the most of AI. Organizations are now actively leveraging conversational interfaces, such as chatbots and virtual assistants to help increase corporate efficiency and reinvent their operations by automating their business processes. This is all in a bid to make communication easier; for this reason, AI applications such as chatbots and virtual assistants have become the order of the day, so much so that they are often used interchangeably. Both software can now meet humans and naturally communicate with them.

According to Oren Etzioni, an American computer science researcher, "AI is a tool. The choice about how it gets deployed is ours."

By this logic, humans have been able to utilize AI for more effortless and seamless communication. The way people interact with the software is changing thanks to this new user interface. Both Chatbots and Virtual Assistants are AI-powered computer programs that can interact with humans. People now interact with one or both of these technologies daily, and most users believe they are the same.

But, it must be clear that chatbots and virtual assistants are two different computer programs with significantly various responsibilities and purposes. It has reached a point where most individuals are not aware of the stark differences between the two. For instance, chatbots are commonly used as data collection interfaces, such as for obtaining product information. Virtual assistants can help you run your business by reminding you of meetings, keeping track of your to-do lists, taking notes, and so on. To get a clearer picture, you should know what precisely a chatbot and a virtual assistant are.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot, often known as a bot, is computer software that mimics human conversation. Chatbots are a type of software that is commonly used as an information acquisition interface. Chatbots are artificial intelligence-powered conversational agents that employ natural language processing to interact with users casually. They're computer programs that act as if they're conversing with a user and typically react with a single line. Chatbots are virtual advisors, assistants, or agents that allow people to communicate with businesses and brands via messaging apps. Product marketing, brand engagement, product assistance, sales, and support discussions are common uses of chatbots. Users converse with a chatbot through the chat interface or voice, just as they would with a human. Chatbots interpret and process the user's words or phrases and respond with a pre-programmed response. Clients benefit from this product because it is an automated program that interacts with customers like humans would and costs little to nothing to use.

chatbot vs virtual assistant

What is a virtual assistant?

Virtual Assistants are software programs that imitate the functions of a personal assistant, such as organizing schedules, addressing travel needs, making appointments, sending event reminders, and so on. Virtual Assistants are designed with the end-user in mind and are built to accept input and carry out tasks using voice commands. Virtual Assistants can interpret human speech and are aided by artificial neural networks that allow them to predict the user's intent regardless of the query's randomness. Because virtual assistants are AI-powered, they may learn the user's preferences and behaviors over time, developing and becoming wiser. They can communicate with other intelligent devices and software by understanding natural language, recognizing faces, identifying things, and understanding natural language. Virtual Assistants are commonly found in handheld devices such as phones and can be used to control the device and perform simple activities such as sending emails and creating to-do lists. All of these things can be completed simply by giving the Virtual Assistant the proper vocal order.

Chatbot Vs Virtual Assistant

1. Intelligence:

Chatbots are usually text-based and configured to respond to a limited set of questions or statements. They will fail if the question asked is not one of the customer's taught responses. Chatbots are unable to maintain long-term human interaction. Traditionally, they have been text-based, but they can now include audio and visual elements for exchange. They provide a conversation that is more akin to an FAQ. They are unable to process languages in particular.

The interactive platform used by virtual assistants is far more advanced. They can decipher not only the user's language but also the meaning of what they are saying. They can learn from their mistakes and maintain an element of surprise in their actions. They'll be able to have a longer human interaction this way. They can also be programmed to accomplish slightly more complex jobs.

2. Ability to keep the conversation flowing:

When talking with chatbots, the conversation ends as soon as queries have been resolved. On the other hand, virtual assistants use dynamic conversation flow techniques to grasp human intent, enhancing human-to-human communication. Chatbots do not understand human emotions. They respond to questions accurately, but they don't comprehend our moods and feelings and don't know how to respond appropriately.

Virtual assistants, on the other hand, can evaluate natural language complexities using advanced natural language processing. As a result, virtual assistants communicate with users in a far more human-like manner, resulting in increased efficiency and accuracy. Chatbots that can gauge human moods are now being built with the help of AI emotional intelligence. Even after disrupting the flow, virtual assistants can have a long chat. Virtual Assistants can help with strenuous activities such as locating directions and arranging meal reservations.

3. Interface:

Customers can communicate with chatbots via messages using a conversational user interface (CUI), a chat-like interface. Chatbots are created using models that give a framework for generating responses. Numerous models govern the design of Chatbots, and applicable models are chosen to develop them depending on the purpose for which they are utilized. The chatbots are then taught to respond consistently.

Virtual assistants feature a chat-like interface, but they can also work without one activated with voice instructions. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) enable virtual assistants to learn from previous inputs continuously. ANNs are used to recognize, categorize, forecast, and analyze the user's information to obtain accurate results for the user's queries.

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4. Natural Processing language:

Chatbots aren't built to respond to linguistic changes. It doesn't have a lot of language processing capabilities. It just picks out specific words from the user and responds with a pre-programmed response. On the other hand, Chatbots have a structured dialogue and are explicitly programmed to react to certain answers to specific queries. They cannot, however, respond to complex questions that have not been put into them. It is unable to understand the customer in this case and fails to answer correctly.

Natural language processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) is the critical area of focus for virtual assistants (NLU). Virtual assistants can now grasp slang used in everyday natural interactions and analyze moods using languages, enhancing an even greater set of communication skills. Virtual assistants are more conversational than chatbots, thanks to NLP. Hard-coding, wildcard word matching, and time-consuming keyword training allow virtual assistants to conduct conversations, have sophisticated NLP capabilities, and carry out a limited number of interactions.

5. Channels:

Chatbots can be found on websites, customer service portals, and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Chatbots can also be used to resolve consumer complaints via mobile applications and in-app chat widgets. Virtual assistants are pre-installed on the devices they ship with.

Virtual assistants have been embedded into devices such as Google Home and Amazon's Echo. Voice commands are the primary mode of operation for these devices. On the other hand, mobile phones and laptops usually come with an application that allows users to engage with the virtual assistant (in addition to voice commands).

6. Usage:

The use of a chatbot is limited, and it is not ideal for complex procedures. It is an excellent tool for gathering information from clients. While most Chatbots cannot learn independently, advances in artificial intelligence are allowing Chatbots to learn from their interactions.

Virtual Assistants have a broad range of applications and can perform strenuous activities such as engaging with people on their own. Unlike Chatbots, Virtual Assistants improve their accuracy with time.

7. Tasks:

Chatbots have restricted use and lack advanced algorithms in areas such as customer service and automated transactions. It follows simple rules and is incapable of doing complex tasks. The majority of customer support contacts or requests are now automated. Virtual Assistants have a broader scope and may assist with various tasks, such as comparing products or determining the best outcome based on the characteristics provided. It's used for things like decision-making and e-commerce. It can do things like telling jokes, playing music, providing stock market information, and even operating the various devices in the room. Unlike chatbots, virtual assistants improve over time.

Features of Chatbot

1. Design your chatbot: Personalize your chat agent by customizing the design, style, colours, graphics, uploading photos, adding a logo, and more.

2. Convert visitors to leads: Your Virtual Agent can build interest in your products or services and collect the visitor's email or phone number so you can clinch the sale. This is referred to as a "lead." Because they were interested in what your website had to offer and submitted their phone number or email address to be reached by you, each new lead is a hot potential for a sale.

3. Answers, FAQs, Tips, and Advice: You may teach your agent various responses to a variety of queries. Your visitors expect answers to be available online, and they welcome your advice and recommendations when it is relevant to them. In most circumstances, you'll want to provide responses that help visitors convert into leads, purchases, or conversions, as well as answers to questions about pricing, shipping, company information, and deals.

4. Chat in real-time: When you're online, you can either monitor and intervene in Live Chat as needed or switch off the automated agent entirely and manage all visits through Live Chat.

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Benefits of Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

Chatbots are being used extensively by businesses to optimize internal business processes, boost productivity, raise revenue, and improve customer experience. Website chatbots increase engagement by giving quick and personalized responses. Customers who would otherwise have to wait longer for a response via traditional telephone channels will benefit significantly from this. Because of their ease of use, chatbots have a very high adoption rate. Chatbot adoption opens up a floodgate of possibilities for businesses to better their client interaction process and operational efficiency, lowering customer service costs.

Virtual Assistants, on the other hand, make organizing and carrying out our daily chores easier. Virtual Assistants come in helpful in supporting our tasks, whether it's setting reminders and alarms, adding commissions to the calendar, making calls, or retrieving information from the internet. Virtual assistants can now control home intelligent gadgets such as lighting, thermostats, and music devices. Although Individuals mostly use virtual Assistants for personal purposes, they are quickly gaining traction in the commercial world.

Choose the power of intelligence as your business demands!

Chatbots have had much success in the finance, banking, legal, and healthcare industries. They are forming bonds with their employees by supporting them with routine and monotonous activities. On the other hand, Chatbots lag behind virtual assistants in terms of context, intellect, and intelligence. Depending on what they are needed for, chatbots and virtual assistants each serve their particular purposes. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants are fundamentally different in design, and they cannot perform the same activities. So, knowing their differences can only be a good thing for users.

Now that you know, it will become easier when deciding on what artificial intelligence route your business or website is willing to take. Both chatbots and virtual assistants have a wide range of features that can help enterprises to revolutionize. The most important thing is to figure out which parts of your organization might benefit from both of these AI applications.


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