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Morganna for BotCity

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Chatbot, bot, and RPA: what are the differences?

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It is common to need some clarification with these terms. The idea here is to better understand their meaning and how they relate. So, first, let's talk about each one of them.

What is a bot?

A bot, which we can say is the abbreviation of "robot," which means robot, is a computer program created to perform automated tasks, often autonomously and independently, according to the parameters and specifications configured for it.
They can automate repetitive and manual tasks, bringing many benefits. You can read more about the benefits in this other article.
Here are some examples of bots for comparison: stock management bots, handling spreadsheets or other types of documents, bots to send data or files to different systems, etc.
That is, a bot does what it was programmed to do.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a specific type of bot created to interact with people, whether in text or even voice conversations.
They are programmed to do tasks such as make hotel reservations, order food, or answer questions about a particular product or service.
There are several channels in which we can use them, such as messaging apps, websites, and different social networks.
The chatbot will do what it was programmed to do, but it may require machine learning to learn how to behave and interact, depending on your goals. After all, there is the complexity that a question, for example, can be asked in the most diverse ways by different people, with different languages and even other words.

What is RPA?

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a technology that uses bots to automate business processes in the most diverse areas, such as finance, HR, customer service, software testing, etc.
Unlike chatbots, RPA bots are not created to interact with people but rather to perform repetitive and routine tasks, even if they have little or a lot of complexity, such as entering data into a system, copying and pasting information, or updating records.
They are beneficial for automating tasks that involve multiple steps in more than one different system, such as order processing. And it can be done with desktop as well as web applications.


What if we create a bot to automate email responses and sends?

Still, the goal here is not to interact with humans but to automate the email management process, which can be repetitive.

But isn't it all used to automate tasks?

Yes, but each of these technologies has its purpose to automate different things and its own scopes.

Understanding visually

In the figure below, we explain how each of these technologies acts and how they relate.
For example, we've shown that RPA uses bots to do what's needed. And that chatbot is a specific type of bot that exist.

In the center a larger circle identified as "Bot". Another circle, much smaller that is identified as "chatbot". Outside of these, there is another circle labeled "RPA". In that same diagram, it has an arrow coming out of "RPA" pointing to "Bot" and it says "RPA uses bots". And an arrow coming out of "Chatbot" pointing to "Bot" written "it's a type of bot"."

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