A conversational bot, chatterbot, Conversational AI, chatbot or bot for short is a text-based dialogue system that allows chatting with a technical system. Chatbots can but do not have to, be used in conjunction with an avatar. With the increasing computer power and the improvement in artificial intelligence, many websites have been offering chatbot systems. Chatbots can access nowadays extensive databases and offer therefore also intelligent dialogues for the user. Such systems are also known as virtual personal assistants.
Chatbots have been in development since the 1950s when Alan Turing published the article „Computer Machinery and Intelligence”. One of the first chatbots in history is Eliza, created in 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum.
Today, chatbots are mostly accessed by digital assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, via messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, or via organization tools and websites.
The Conversational Marketing report, conducted by Drift 2018, stated that people from all 195 countries are using online chat to start conversations on business websites. That includes people who work at companies of every size, sector, and nearly every industry.
The most common potential benefit of chatbots that consumers pointed to was the ability to get 24-hour service. That was followed by getting instant responses to inquiries, and getting answers to simple questions.
However, chatbots cannot eventually replace humans, when it comes to getting expert answers or answers to detailed questions.