May 24, 2023

How chatbots and conversational interfaces are changing the way we use technology

Technology has advanced to such an extent that it allows us to interact with systems and devices in new and more intuitive ways. Chatbots and conversational interfaces are examples of this evolution. These systems allow users to communicate with devices, software and applications through natural conversations, rather than having to interact with graphical interfaces or keyboards.

In this article, we will explore what chatbots and conversational interfaces are, how they work, their differences and provide examples of their use in different domains. We will also discuss the trends and future of these systems and how they are transforming the way we interact with technology.

How chatbots and conversational interfaces are changing the way we use technology

Chatbots and conversational interfaces are changing the way we interact with technology and are transforming the way businesses and organisations communicate with their customers by providing a more convenient, efficient and personalised user experience and making technology more accessible to a variety of users.

These systems can be used in multiple areas, such as customer service, e-commerce, banking and healthcare.

What are chatbots?

Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate a conversation with human beings through messaging interfaces, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Slack. These programs use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to understand human language and provide automatic responses to users' questions or requests.

Chatbots can be programmed to perform various tasks, from answering simple questions and providing basic information, to helping in online shopping, providing technical assistance and scheduling appointments. In addition, chatbots can be integrated into apps and websites to provide users with a more interactive and personalised experience. They can also help companies collect valuable information about customers, which can help them improve the products and services they offer.

How do they work?
Chatbots work by using natural language processing and artificial intelligence techniques to process and understand users' natural language, identify their intent, search their knowledge base for appropriate responses and generate a natural language response that matches the user's intent.

The process of operating a chatbot can vary according to its complexity and specific purpose, but generally includes the following steps:

  • Reception of the message: the user's message is received through a messaging interface such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Slack, among others.
  • Natural language processing: natural language processing is used to understand the user's message. This includes the identification of the language and an analysis of the grammar and the meaning of the message.
  • Analysis of the intention: intention behind the user's message, i.e., what the user is trying to say or do, is identified. This is achieved by identifying keywords and analysing the message structure.
  • Search for answers: an appropriate response is sought in its knowledge base. This may include information on products, services, or business policies, among others.
  • Generation of answers: a response is generated in natural language that matches the user's intention and provides the requested information. The response can be a predefined or customised response based on the information the chatbot has collected about the user.
  • Message sending: the response is sent to the user through the messaging interface.

Examples of chatbots
In this interesting article you can find several applied examples. I recommend you take a look.

What are conversational interfaces?

Conversational interfaces are a type of user interface that allows users to interact with a computer system using natural language. Instead of clicking buttons or navigating through menus, users can use voice or text commands to communicate with the system.

Conversational interfaces can be found on different devices, such as smartphones, smart speakers, smartwatches and connected cars. They are also used in different applications, such as customer service, education, e-commerce and health.

How do they work?
Conversational interfaces use natural language processing technologies to understand human language and generate appropriate responses. These technologies enable conversational interfaces to recognise and understand the user's intention as well as the context in which the interaction takes place. Furthermore, some conversational interfaces use machine learning systems to improve their understanding and responsiveness, while others can interact with multiple users at the same time.

Examples of conversational interfaces
There are several examples of interfaces, ranging from personal virtual assistants to voice systems in smart homes. Below are some noteworthy examples:

  • Personal virtual assistant: personal virtual assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are well-known examples of advanced conversational interfaces. These assistants can perform tasks such as answering questions, making phone calls, setting reminders, sending text messages and playing music, all through voice commands.
  • Smart home voice systems: smart home voice systems, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, are devices that use conversational interfaces to control home systems and perform everyday tasks. Users can use voice commands to turn on and off lights, adjust temperature, play music and get information.
  • Virtual medical assistants: virtual medical assistants are conversational interfaces designed to help patients with health problems. These assistants can offer information on diseases, provide treatment recommendations and schedule medical appointments. An example of a virtual medical assistant is the Ada health application.

Differences between chatbots and conversational interfaces

Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some important differences between chatbots and conversational interfaces. Some of the main differences are detailed below:

  • Nature of the interaction: a chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate a human conversation, whereas a conversational interface is a user interface that allows for interaction through conversation.
  • Functionality: a chatbot is a specific type of conversational interface that is designed to perform specific tasks autonomously, such as answering questions, making reservations and providing recommendations, among others. On the other hand, a conversational interface can be a wider platform for user interaction and can include multiple chatbots.
  • Complexity: chatbots are generally less complex than conversational interfaces, as they are designed to perform specific tasks. Conversational interfaces can be more complex and designed for multiple purposes.
  • Technology: both use natural language processing and machine learning technologies to interpret human language. However, chatbots are usually simpler and use more basic natural language processing techniques.
  • Interaction: chatbots are usually more limited in terms of how they interact with users. Typically, users interact with chatbots through a text or voice interface, while conversational interfaces can include other types of interaction, such as images, videos, graphics, etc.

Why are chatbots and conversational interfaces important?

Chatbots and conversational interfaces are changing the way we use technology for several reasons, including:

  • Improvements to the user experience: they offer a more intuitive and natural user experience than other methods of interacting with technology. Users can interact with these tools conversationally, rather than having to navigate through menus and preset options.
  • Task automation: they can perform tasks autonomously and without the need for human intervention. This can save time and improve efficiency. For example, within the world of sales and marketing, processes such as lead management, audience segmentation and personalisation of the user experience can be automated.
  • Customisation: they can personalise the user experience, providing answers and recommendations based on the user's individual preferences.
  • Accessibility: they can make technology more accessible to people with physical or visual disabilities, as no graphical interface is required to interact with them.
  • Advances in Artificial Intelligence: both technologies are powered by artificial intelligence, allowing them to understand and respond to users' messages and requests more effectively. As artificial intelligence continues to improve, chatbots and conversational interfaces are likely to become even more sophisticated and effective.

If we separate users and the business world, chatbots and conversational interfaces allow:

For users:

  • 24x7 availability: they are always available, meaning that users can get help or information at any time, regardless of time of day or location.
  • Quick answers: they can provide instant answers to users' questions, which can save them time and avoid the frustration of having to wait in line to speak to a customer service agent.
  • Comfort: they allow users to interact with a company through a platform they are already familiar with, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, making communication more convenient and accessible.

For companies:

  • Cost saving: they can reduce customer service costs by automating answers to common questions and allowing customer service agents to focus on more complex problems.
  • Improve efficiency: they can process several customer requests at the same time, increasing efficiency and productivity.
  • Data analysis: they can collect and analyse customer data, such as frequently asked questions, common problems and brand interactions, which can help companies identify areas for improvement and optimise the customer experience.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: they can improve customer satisfaction by providing quick and personalised responses to user queries, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and improved brand reputation.

Trends and the future

Chatbots and conversational interfaces are expected to continue evolving and expanding into a variety of industries and applications, which will improve user efficiency and experience. Here are some trends that are expected to set the course for the future of chatbots and conversational interfaces:

  • Increased customisation: Companies are working to create more customised chatbots and conversational interfaces that are tailored to the specific needs of users. With the use of machine learning and natural language processing techniques, it will be possible to better understand user requirements and provide more targeted and useful responses, helping to reduce friction in the user experience and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Integration of chatbots and voice assistants: Chatbots and voice assistants are converging on a single conversational platform that makes it possible to interact with IoT devices, smart homes and other connected systems. The integration of chatbots and voice assistants will create a more fluid and natural conversation experience.
  • Further adoption in medical care: Chatbots and conversational interfaces are gaining ground in healthcare, allowing patients to interact with healthcare providers and receive real-time health information. They can also help reduce the cost of medical care by allowing patients to access basic and routine care without having to visit a doctor in person.
  • Complex task automation: As technology continues to improve, chatbots and conversational interfaces are expected to be able to automate more complex and sophisticated tasks, such as solving complex engineering problems or managing business projects.


Chatbots and conversational interfaces have changed the way we interact with technology, improving communication, convenience, efficiency and customisation. These technologies are transforming the way companies interact with their customers and are improving the general user experience. The entire world is communicated by instant messaging, and the future of both technologies is promising. They are expected to continue growing and improving in the coming years.

Discover how SEIDOR can help you incorporate conversational interfaces to improve your company's different departments. We would be delighted to give you a hand.