Hiring in the Age of AI:
What is Conversational AI?

Types of Chatbots & Their Limitations

The statistics truly speak for themselves. People are comfortable with some types of chatbots, and many prefer interacting with a bot over a real person. But, not all bots are created equal.

Chat widgets enable live chat among humans. It’s the most basic form of website communication. Chatbots, on the other hand, are a software program that automates conversations with humans to answer basic questions with predetermined answers—basically a multiple-choice format. With these, communication is one-way and confined to the questions you expect candidates to ask. But, with many wanting to get back to work after COVID subsides, you can’t always predict what information is valuable to a candidate.

So, What Is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI and chatbots are often used interchangeably. But, in short, Conversational AI is a set of technologies that enable computers to simulate real human-like conversations.

Conversational AI serves a deeper purpose than simply answering FAQs, like many other types of chatbots. With a combination of artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing, your candidates are engaged in a way that wasn’t previously possible with existing bots. Rather than a simple input and output, initial candidate conversations can be complex. A CAI learns the nuances of our language and takes into consideration how we say something rather than just what we say. This way, the candidate experience begins with a dialogue that feels more human and less robotic.

Before CAI, there were just two main categories of chat interfaces: chat widgets and enhanced bots. Both have different capabilities and uses. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Chat Widgets
    Chat widgets are the most basic form of communication on a website. They enable live chat between humans across a variety of messaging platforms, such as a company website or text messaging. For example, companies often use chat widgets to provide customer service support with a live human via their website. These widgets are often built using off-the-shelf tools, can be programmed to appear on certain pages, and answer basic questions or take over a search query.
  • Enhanced Bots
    An enhanced bot is a software program that automates conversations with humans to answer their questions, only accepting a few varieties of predefined answers in binary (Y/N) or multiple-choice formats. These bots are designed to be transactional in nature or assist in accomplishing very specific tasks—and are unable to deviate from its programmed responses and linear workflow. Their strict reliance on a predefined decision tree and limited ability to ask multiple choice and yes/no questions can often cause frustration with end-users causing them to disengage or drop-off from the conversation.

Conversational AI uses advances in natural language processing, allowing computers to understand human language as it is spoken, to fill the gaps and go beyond the limitations of the conventional chatbot products. These advances in technology allow conversations to be more natural, more robust, and more aware of the end-user. CAI has superior natural language understanding and can recognize nuances in conversations, such as tone and emotion, and the context and intent of what a user is saying, allowing candidates to communicate more naturally in free form responses, jump between topic areas or change answers if needed.

CAI also uses machine learning to enable it to learn from experience—with every conversation informing the next one. As CAI collects more data, it gets smarter. For example, if a candidate provides a new skill that is not recognized in a company’s database, CAI will flag it, input it into the database, and recognize it the next time another candidate mentions it.


Talent Acquisition’s Competitive Edge

AI in hiring is a whole new ball game for recruiters. Find out how and why Fortune 500 companies and leading staffing agencies are using Conversational AI to carve out a competitive advantage.

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