Chatbot vs. Smart Speakers — Who Has the Better Future?

In the last few years, AI has come within everyone’s grip. This is awesome. But it is also true that there are multiple channels of tech advancements going around.

Currently there are 3 major categories of AI advancement going on —

  • Messaging based (eg: chatbot),
  • Voice based (eg: smart speakers) and
  • Image based (eg: delivery drones, self driving car navigation etc).

Image based AI is advancing very fast with lots of promising features. But today we’ll concentrate mostly on the Chatbots and Smart Speakers which are gaining much traction in the market.

2017 has seen the surpassing of messaging apps over social networking apps. Instant messaging opened up another level of communication where people can carry out text based conversation irrespective of their surroundings. People love the concept that a crowd in the metro or colleagues in the workplace will not be disturbed by a parallel text based conversation.


Chatbot vs Smart Speakers

The rise of chatbots is based on this new trait of personal messaging. Bots are the best automated customer care representatives who can help people anytime over text based communication. Over a million chatbots in the major social media platforms (like Messenger, Twitter, Slack, Skype, Telegram, Kik etc) are dominating the world.

In the same time, the smart speakers who can listen, understand and reply you back with intelligent answers are also getting more popularity. Amazon Alexa & Google Home do not need any further intro. If you go by the technological advancement, definitely smart speakers are smarter than text based chatbots. But will they surpass the utility of chatbots? Let’s find out.

Current State of AI based technologies

Well, we’re still in an infancy age of AI. The complexity of our thought process and communication is far from reachable by AI right now. That is why creating a customized smart speaker with limited conversation capability will cost higher — if we consider business brands will start having their own smart speakers for customer service in stores in near future.


Pros & Cons

But this usage will be limited. Smart home speakers will be more popular but they will be more of a home based personal assistants. People might love to interact with them in stores. But people will not feel very comfortable to talk with their gadgets (may be a smart watch or a smart headphone)regarding personal tasks within a crowded area or in front of other people all the time. Text based communication would still be a good choice to communicate with virtual assistants. This would be less error prone too.

Messaging is more personal. Continuing a conversation anytime anywhere without breaking others’ privacy zone will remain popular — until the mind reader bots come into the picture 😉 That is why bots will reach much more people around. Business brands have already realized the long term potential and adopting bots pretty fast.

Key Difference between the User Interaction

We are used to respond to images and videos simultaneously rather than reading piece of writing or listening with activated logical brain. Thus images & videos cast strong impact in our brain. Listening the same subject description does not create same interest. Here lies the big difference! Smart speaker cannot cast images and videos during communication. Chatbots can do that and help the user in every way (even bots can talk) to communicate easily. Final point, smart speakers cannot communicate with more than one person at a time while bots can chat with hundreds of people at the same time.


So, if we consider the products as upcoming marketing and personal assistants, there would be few points which chatbots can use to create longer trend-life on a global scale. With fast releases of new features and advancements it might also possible that smart speakers can outrun bots in long run. Let us see the new advancements in both the fields this year.


About Swapratim

Blog Writer in Medium for Chatbots Magazine - world's biggest chatbot magazine. Also he writes in Bot Publication and Chatbots Journal on regular basis ( Experienced in IT development & support pursuing different roles & responsibilities. He has worked on several innovative projects. Apart from this, he likes to share his learning with everyone which he had learned over years. Sole purpose of this blog is to share the author's knowledge in IT, passion for travel and recent trends with you. Hope you will enjoy his contents.
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