Chatbot vs Virtual Assistant: Difference and Comparison

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants are two software programs of the modern era. However, there is certain ambiguity when it comes to the differences between the two.

Key Takeaways

  1. Chatbots perform simple tasks and answer basic questions, while virtual assistants provide more advanced and personalized assistance.
  2. Chatbots engage with users through text-based interfaces, while virtual assistants can interact using text and voice.
  3. Virtual assistants use artificial intelligence to learn and adapt to user needs, whereas chatbots follow predefined rules and scripts.

Chatbot vs Virtual Assistant

The difference between a chatbot and a virtual assistant is that chatbots have a limited range of operations. On the other hand, virtual assistants can perform a wide range of tasks for their users. Chatbots have a conversational user interface. On the other hand, virtual assistants have a chat-like interface. Chatbots assist businesses; however, virtual assistants have a practical application for both business owners and general users. 

Chatbot vs Virtual Assistant

Chatbot refers to programs that are manufactured to have human-like conversations with people. Chatbots are unable to respond to a change in language usage.

Virtual assistant refers to online personal assistants that assist users in carrying out their daily activities. They have high interpretation skills.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonChatbotVirtual Assistant 
DefinitionChatbots are software programs manufactured with the purpose of having human-like conversations with people.Virtual assistants are the online personal assistants that assist users in carrying out their day to day activities. 
IntelligenceChatbots perform a limited range of functions. They are unable to carry out complex tasks. Virtual assistants perform a wide range of functions. They are capable of carrying out some complex tasks. 
Natural Language ProcessingChatbots are unable to comprehend any language other than the one embedded in their system. Virtual assistants possess the ability to understand both the meaning and language of the user. 
TechnologyThere are two common types of chatbot models: generative model and selective model. Virtual assistants make use of artificial neural networks to learn from the user’s daily activities. 
Practical ApplicationChatbots assist businesses and customers. Virtual assistants help their users to perform tasks such as schedule meetings, respond to emails, set reminders and so on. 

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbot refers to programs that are manufactured to have human-like conversations with people. They are test-based and reply only to a limited number of questions or statements.

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A chatbot doesn’t have highly adept language acquisition skills. Chatbots are unable to respond to a change in language usage. Moreover, they are unable to answer complex questions.  

There are two common types of chatbot models: generative model and selective model. The generative model possesses many layers.

All in all, chatbots have only a limited practical application. They are employed in websites, messaging channels, support portals, in-app chat widgets, and mobile applications.

chatbot

What is a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistant refers to online personal assistants that assist users in carrying out their daily activities, such as scheduling meetings, managing emails and so on.

Virtual assistants possess the ability to understand both the meaning and language of the user. They have fairly high interpretation skills.

Virtual assistants can perform a variety of tasks. They can help the user to find the best restaurant in their locality or a computer in their budget range.

Virtual assistants mature with use. They can connect to laptops, mobile phones, smart speakers and interactive devices. They are responsive to voice commands and possess a chat-like interface.

virtual assistant

Main Differences Between Chatbot and Virtual Assistant 

  1. Chatbots are unable to comprehend any language other than the one embedded in their system. In contrast, virtual assistants possess the ability to understand both the meaning and language of the user. 
  2. There are two common types of chatbot models: generative model and selective model. On the other hand, virtual assistants make use of artificial neural networks to learn from the user’s daily activities. 
Difference Between Chatbot and Virtual Assistant
References
  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Menal-Dahiya/publication/321864990_A_Tool_of_Conversation_Chatbot/links/5a360b02aca27247eddea031/A-Tool-of-Conversation-Chatbot.pdf 
https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.00466

Last Updated : 19 August, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Chatbot vs Virtual Assistant: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Great explanation of the difference between chatbots and virtual assistants, it’s important to know the distinction between the two.

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