What Does Chatbot Mean?

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals. Chatbots are frequently used by organizations to provide 24-hour customer relationship management (CRM) services. This type of software bot can also be used as an intelligent virtual assistant.


A chatbot is also known as an artificial conversational entity (ACE), chat robot, talk bot, chatterbot or chatterbox.


Techopedia Explains Chatbot

Modern chatbots are frequently used in situations in which simple interactions with only a limited range of responses are needed. This can include customer service and marketing applications, where the chatbots can provide answers to questions on topics such as products, services or company policies. If a customer’s questions exceed the abilities of the chatbot, that customer is usually escalated to a human operator.

In the 1950’s, mathematician Alan Turing proposed a way to evaluate the quality of a computer program’s responses to questions asked by a human. His methodology, which is called the Turing test, generated new interest in the 1960s after MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum released a chatbot called ELIZA. Although the ELIZA chatbot could not pass the Turing test, it did reveal how willing humans beings are to attribute human qualities to machines. This concept is now referred to as the Eliza Effect.

Today, chatbots are often used on web pages and in messaging apps. Apple embeds a chatbot called Siri in their iOS operating systems and dedicated chatbot appliances, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are also becoming increasingly common.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…