What is an AI chatbot?


What is an AI Chatbot?

A chatbot is software capable of carrying on a conversation via chat, interpreting user interactions, questions, and responses.

Typically, you can find them on websites to provide assistance, allow users to obtain information about products or services, and more. However, a well-designed chatbot also enables the automation of specific actions, such as allowing a customer to schedule an appointment directly in your business agenda, submitting support tickets that will reach your email, and much more.

Chatbot Terminology

To discuss Chatbots and conversational AI, it is necessary to provide a brief overview of the technical terms and acronyms related to the topic. This will be helpful for those unfamiliar with the subject to better understand the following paragraphs.

Conversational Artificial Intelligence

This technology involves Artificial Intelligence, speech recognition, and messaging applications to interact with the user by simulating human-like conversations. If the interaction occurs through text, it is referred to as a Chatbot, and if it involves spoken dialogue between a human and a machine, it is called a Voicebot.

NLP (Natural Language Processing)

As the name suggests, NLP is a set of artificial intelligence algorithms capable of analyzing and understanding human language, primarily in the form of text.


Utterances are the requests or phrases expressed by the user to the bot. They trigger the start of the interaction between humans and machines. An utterance could be, for example, the phrase “Is the new Teebok model available?”


Intents are groups of concepts that indicate tasks and actions that the user wants to perform; they are necessary for the bot to interpret the utterances expressed by the human and thus define its generic intention.
In order to define the intents, when configuring the bot, it is necessary to identify the main concepts to be interpreted by the machine, based on the application domain of the case.

If we wanted to structure the virtual assistant of an E-commerce for example, we should as a first step establish the various scopes of intentions within which the expressed utterances of the E-commerce users can be divided. The expressions “I want to know how much the shoes cost” or “what is the price of the t-shirt?” will be traced back to the same intent that we could name “prices”; “how can I make a return?” “I would like to change a product” might fall under the intent “returns” instead.


Within a user-expressed utterance, entities are the words that go into defining and specifying intents, expressing a value or variant related to them and thus defining them in more detail. Entities allow the user’s intentions to be contextualized.

Let us again take the example of our E-commerce virtual assistant, within the same intent “purchases” we might find the phrases (utterances) “I want to buy shoes” and “I want to buy pants,” where the former indicates the entity “footwear” and the latter the entity “clothing”

ML (Machine Learning)

Also known in Italian as machine learning, giving an exhaustive definition of it is by no means simple; its fields of application are vast and differentiated. However, we could say that machine learning includes a number of different mechanisms that enable intelligent machines to increase their knowledge and performance, based on data acquired over time.

Thanks to feedback and corrections (made by a human operator in the case of supervised machine learning, or directly by the machine if we are talking about unsupervised ML), the system is able to learn how to perform functions and process more relevant responses as it goes along.

chatbot AI utterances, intents e

What types of chatbots exist?

There are various types of Chatbots, which can be categorized into three main groups:

  • Transaction or Declarative Chatbots (based on structured interactions)

these bots allow the user to interact based on fixed patterns; since they are rule-based, they are firmly structured and inflexible: in fact, their responsiveness is based on NLP recognition of keywords within the questions posed by the user, to which predetermined response scripts correspond.
These types of chatbots, also known as transaction or declarative chatbots, are primarily employed to perform in an automated manner a single action or function that tends not to involve many variables (e.g., guiding the user through the process of making appointments via predetermined steps)

  • Chatbots based on Conversational Artificial Intelligence

these virtual assistants are more sophisticated than their predecessors and enable smooth and personalized interactions through the use of conversational AI.
Conversational AI-based bots involve initial setup, which is necessary to “educate” the intelligence through the process of Machine Learning. To do this, intentions must first be established and initial emblematic utterances created to identify them. Then the various entities that go to contextualize the utterances are defined and, finally, the flow of the interaction is defined (on Dillo the creation of the flow is done through a Chatbot Editor in No code logic)

  • Hybrid Chatbots with Live Agents

no matter how intelligent and detailed an assistant may be, the intervention of a human operator within a conversation may sometimes prove necessary for the satisfaction of the customer’s needs. In this case, reliance is placed on a hybrid chatbot that, like its predecessors, is able to meet the needs of the end user, but at the same time allows operators to take control of the chat.
Dillo Chatbot falls into this category of virtual assistants: it not only allows human agents to intervene during the conversation through a dedicated interface, but also allows them to transfer the communication to other operators in case it is necessary.

Are you looking for a virtual assistant to improve communication with your customers or automate customer care? Check out Dillo Chatbot or contact our experts to discuss your project; we would be thrilled to assist you.
Until next time!


Chatbot AI


  • What is a Chatbot
  • Chatbot Terminology
  • Types of Chatbots


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