April 20, 2021

What are we talking about when we talk about conversational AI?

The terms “artificial intelligence,” “conversational artificial intelligence” or “bots” come up when we start thinking about designing a better customer experience to serve more people in less time. But do we know what it means to be conversational when we talk about AI?

Bots and conversational artificial intelligence: Are they the same thing?

We hear a lot about AI and chatbots these days, so it’s common for us to associate “bots” with “artificial intelligence.” But we often come across bots that can’t respond to complex interactions or resolve inquiries naturally and smoothly. This is because not all bots work with conversational artificial intelligence.

Related article: Conversational engine vs conversation flows: Which is the right one for your company?

The secret lies in the experience

Conversational AI is the difference between robotic talk and a humanized experience. It allows the bot to be capable of learning and adjusting to the needs and personalities of every organization, smoothly carrying out the different stages of customer service, answering FAQs without involving human agents and being capable of understanding emojis, voice messages, typos and regionalisms.

AI for customer experience

Conversational AI doesn't just impact the way companies communicate and resolve their customers’ inquiries, but it also instantly resolves a greater number of inquiries in a personalized way, nonstop and across multiple channels.

In our case, we developed our own conversational AI enginewhere the bot can adjust to every organization's needs. It maintains open and unstructured dialogues and, if needed, canalso establish conversation flows associating questions and answers based on the type of company and channel.

How does conversational AI work?

The premise is that when an inquiry arrives, we should always know what to say. Take Andrew, a young guy looking for a new cell phone, who asks an e-commerce bot “do you haev the new ipohne?”

The virtual assistant’s conversational engine automatically adjusts the written text and corrects any spelling mistakes or typos. When there are more complex errors, it carries out a deeper correction of the sentence. With Andrew’s question, it identifies that “haev” means “have” and that the correct spelling for “ipohne” is “iPhone.”

It also carries out a semantic analysis of the inquiry and spots the intent behind the question. In this case, Andrew is asking about the availability of the mobile phone on that site. So the intent the bot identifies is “Is the iPhone 12 in stock?”

Based on the knowledge loaded on the virtual assistant’s platform, the engine assesses the potential answers and selects the one that fits best. That's when Andrew gets the information he’s looking for. The bot can go one step further and share a video to make the experience a more interactive one and encourage a purchase at the same time.  


There are other situations where people ask longer questions, or the opposite - vague ones. Aivo’s conversational engine will look to both clarify and offer suggestions for an effective conversation.

One key capability is its short-term memory. What's this feature for? For example, if Andrew continued the conversation asking “And how much is it?”, the bot associates this inquiry with the previous one and understands that Andrew isn’t asking about any price but the one for the iPhone 12.

And what happens if the bot doesn’t understand?

While we’d love the bot to always understand the questions, there are times when customers ask about information the company hadn’t considered when developing the bot. 


These unresolved inquiries are sent to an area called “Training.” Here, companies will be able to identify new ways to ask or topics of interest for customers and use that information to enrich user experience.

How is all this done? It really isn’t magic. In Aivo's case, the conversational engine is reloaded with multiple artificial intelligence technologies that allow it to humanize conversations and offer an efficient service.  

Related article: The power of evasive answers for effective communication

Ultimately, what’s the advantage of conversational AI?

Conversational artificial intelligence is an ally that adds value to the customer service process across different digital channels. It’s what allows us to get to know our customers, give them answers focused on their needs and assess our performance to improve it and optimize processes.

If you want to implement conversational artificial intelligence in your strategy and you’d like to learn how we do it at Aivo, contact us.

Are you looking for new ways to improve your CX?

Our customer service solutions powered by conversational AI can help you deliver an efficient, 24/7 experience  to your customers. Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how they can help your business.