A conversational agent, also known as a chatbot, is a technology that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to communicate and interact with humans in a natural manner. These agents can be text-based or voice-enabled, providing responses to users' queries and performing tasks as instructed. The responses can be predefined, generated in real-time, or a combination of both.
Conversational agents are widely used in customer service, sales, marketing and other domains to automate and streamline processes.
How Conversational Agents work
Conversational agents operate on different technologies based on their capabilities. The basic ones use predefined scripts and follow rule-based systems. Here, responses are pre-programmed and provided based on the user's input. Pattern matching or keyword recognition is often used to provide appropriate responses.
On the other hand, more complex conversational agents use Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. In these systems, conversational agents learn from previous interactions, optimizing their responses over time. NLP allows the agent to understand the context, sentiment, and intent of the user's statements, resulting in a more natural and efficient interaction.
A typical interaction begins with the user's input, which may be a query or an instruction. The agent processes this input, identifies the intent, and responds accordingly. If the system uses ML, the agent's responses improve over time as it learns from each interaction. Conversational agents can be built into websites, apps, or can be part of a larger system like a virtual assistant.
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