Glossary of Terms for Conversational AI

Technology can be confusing at the best of times, with a myriad of terms and acronyms to get your head around. The below is a short guide giving some user-friendly insight into some of the most common terms used within the Conversational AI and Intelligent Automation industries. 

Machine Learning

The use of algorithms and statistical models which enable technology applications to learn and improve over time without the need for additional programming.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Broadly speaking, AI is used to describe the ability of a machine or technology to mimic a human’s ability to learn and adapt responses and behaviour according to specific situations. AI is an umbrella term and can be used in a wide variety of use cases from driverless cars and intelligent mobile voice assistants such as Siri to more narrow applications for business users such as Conversational Assistants.

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Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural Language Processing sits within the broader category of AI. It is a set of algorithms that enables technology applications such as Conversational AI Assistants to read, identify and understand the meaning of human language.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA has been around since the early 2010s and in that time the technology has increased in its sophistication. In its essence, RPA is a software platform that enables organisations to configure a “bot” to automate repetitive and manual business processes, such as data entry or making calls to web services. RPA is governed by pre-programmed logic and rules, which makes it particularly effective at processing structured data (machine-readable data such as forms, spreadsheets, etc.) and delivering efficiencies to back end processes.

Conversational AI Assistants

A multi-channel conversational interface that streamlines the processing of inbound and real-time communications, queries, and associated tasks. Conversational Assistants enable organisations to provide an on-demand support resource for customers, suppliers, and employees. Its utilisation of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning means that it can understand the meaning and intent of user queries in a much more personalised and sophisticated manner than chatbots. This means that organisations can provide significantly enhanced experiences and improves customer and employee satisfaction leading to greater retention and reputation.


Citizen Support

These are the tasks or queries involved in a common user process. For example, within the world of HR, this could be the processes involved with onboarding a new employee, recruitment or payroll. 

Humley’s platform comes pre-configured with many of the common employee and customer experiences – ready to use or customise. Meaning that organisations can rapidly deploy assistants and achieve ROI in weeks. 


An Intent is the mapping between an event taking place and the action the Assistant should perform. This event could be a user asking a question such as ‘I want to up date my insurance claim’. The assistant would then use this information to trigger a specific customer insurance claim conversation flow – guiding them through questions about their existing claim and the information the user wants to update.

Or this action could be a system trigger such as an Assistant launching on a particular communication channel.


In simple terms flows are the structure of conversations. Within Humley’s platform the flows tool enables you to build conversations in the platform in order to lead users down different routes depending on what they say and the outcomes required. This could be a simple answer, document or a particular action via integrations with business systems or other automation platforms such as RPA.


Integrations let you leverage third-party apps, existing business systems, and other automation technologies (such as RPA)  into user conversations to trigger processes and retrieve and update information. Integrations reduced the time, effort and complexity of navigating multiple systems to find the information employees and customers need. Providing users with one point of contact which is available 24/7 and in their preferred communication channel.


Humley’s platform comes pre-configured with integrations to many of the leading CRM, HR and other business system providers, as well as RPA solutions.


Channels allow you to take your conversational assistant to where your customers live. Deploy your service to popular channels, whether that’s on the web, chat and messaging apps, or even voice.

If you would like to find out more about Conversational AI and how to get started, get in touch today. 

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