Definition: Conversational Agent & Chatbot

A Conversational Agent (also called Chatbot) is a virtual assistant that simulates a dialogue with a user. The exchanges can be vocal (Siri, Google Home, Cortana…) or textual (OUIbot, JAM…).

What is a Conversational Agent used for?


This type of computer program is widely used by many companies to facilitate contact with customers.

The tasks and functionalities of the Chatbot vary according to the company’s sector and the common demands of the users. As a general rule, this virtual assistant is used to relieve the customer service telephone channel by answering time-consuming requests in an automated and rapid manner (request for follow-up on an order, availability of a product, etc.).

Chatbot: A tool in constant evolution


Initially, the Chatbot could only answer questions for which it was programmed. Thanks to the constant progress of Artificial Intelligence, the Conversational Agent gains in autonomy. Equipped with advanced algorithms, it can now analyze and manage its exchanges in a more advanced way than before.

However, this evolution can create confusion among users: in 2017, 13% of people who used a chatbot did not know if they were talking to a human or a machine (Source: The AFRC Customer Effort Barometer)