Conversational AI—what we used to refer to as AI chatbots—involves the technologies behind application interfaces that accept human input in natural language as text or voice and produce context-appropriate responses.
Conversational AI uses natural language processing (NLP) technologies and machine learning (ML) to provide an engaging interface for applications. Conversational interfaces are able to interpret inputs using natural language understanding (NLU) technology and respond with a context-appropriate output or action.
Input may be in text or speech form, and the output generally follows the form of the input (e.g., a typed input results in a text output; a voice input garners a verbal response). Internally, speech is converted to text on input, and voice is synthesized from text on output. When triggering a system to take an action, these actions can range in complexity from raising the volume on the system to triggering a secure financial transaction.
Conversational AI is rapidly becoming more sophisticated, and is on track to enable more effective employees, processes, and enterprises.