AI Chatbot Companies Paving the Path for Next-Gen Customer Service

By: Lisa Chai, Sr. Research Analyst & Erica Allaby, Content Manager, ROBO Global



It wasn’t long ago that a phone call to change your flight or confirm your birthday via a robot would end in an irritated request for a live agent. One of the most critical obstacles to introducing effective and useful AI into our daily lives has been something that comes so naturally to humans: clear communication. 

For decades, researchers have worked to teach the technology the quirks and nuances of human interaction. Luckily, the days of disjointed interactions with chatbots and virtual assistants should soon be over thanks to the underlying technologies tied to advancements in conversational artificial intelligence (AI) today. 

For a human and robot to communicate, there are a lot of moving parts that must come together behind the machines. Think about this process as being like that of a normal human conversation: listening, understanding, and responding. There are companies working globally to develop chatbots and conversational AI technologies to push the limits of how robots can communicate with people. These aren’t your average chatbot companies, but rather sophisticated developers of software and AI capabilities that will likely transform the way we look at customer service in the future. For future-focused investors, these are some of the leading companies pushing conversational AI forward.

Chatbot Exposure: Conversational AI Companies for Investors to Watch

Chatbot Connectivity

NICE, a THNQ index member, is a market leader in providing customers the cloud contact center software solutions that empower organizations to make smarter decisions. Over 25,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, including 85 of the Fortune 100 companies, are using NICE solutions. 

In the past 5 years, NICE has developed and acquired advanced AI capabilities to augment its contact center platform/customer engagement as their customers have gone into the cloud. One of their product offerings, NICE Real Time Authentication (RTA), uses voiceprint to authenticate the claimed identity of customers calling into the contact center. The caller’s identity can be verified through voice recognition software in the first few seconds of a call through natural conversation with an agent. Its Cognitive Automation Platform, for example, comprises highly responsive robots that can deliver real-time transactions and solve complex customer requirements. Its solutions also allow organizations to custom build their own API and conversational AI bots. 


Nuance is a company in all three of the ROBO Global ETFs due to its leadership in intelligent systems powered by AI, such as speech recognition, natural language processing, text-to-speech (TTS), biometrics, and more. The company has been at the forefront of developing AI technologies for decades and in delivering enterprise-grade AI systems, and currently holds 2,350 patents.1

The company’s role in providing the underlying technology for NPL was the driver of its recent acquisition by Microsoft, which is looking to make strides into the realm of healthcare technology. 


Blue Prism, another company in both the ROBO and THNQ ETFs, is a pioneer in the digital workforce revolution with its Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform based in the UK. It creates software robots to help guide customers and streamline workflows, ultimately freeing up valuable time for human employees. Blue Prism integrates intelligent automation capabilities, such as chatbot solutions, document data extraction, and workflow optimization, to help simulate human behavior in engaging with customers for their clients. 


Zendesk, an AI stock in THNQ, is a leading provider of AI-powered bots, with over 4.75 billion interactions processed annually. Zendesk serves small to large businesses across a multitude of industries, with more than 160,000 paid customer accounts, offering services and support in 30 languages.2 Zendesk’s powerful combination of AI, its knowledge base, and live chat software make conversations highly personalized such that customers can’t tell they are talking to a robot. Its full suite, which includes an analytical tool, AI-powered automation, and advanced workflow capabilities, allows for the easier integration of data and communications across all departments for smoother customer interaction. 


An Investable AI ETF to Capture the Universe of Chatbot Companies & Developers

For investors, AI chatbots are still in the earlier stages of adoption. The ROBO Global Artificial Intelligence ETF (NYSE: THNQ) is one way for those looking to invest in conversational AI companies and providers of the underlying technology that bring chatbots to life. We believe that the best way to gain investment exposure to such a rapidly evolving industry is through a broad-based technology ETF. 

The THNQ ETF is composed of over 70 artificial intelligence stocks ranging from the realms of cognitive computing to Ecommerce to big data and analytics. THNQ provides exposure to new market opportunities and potential revenue growth created by the expansive development and application of artificial intelligence - like chatbots and conversational AI technologies - without investors needing to take big bets on individual companies.


The Future of Conversational AI

As we continue to research the investable companies paving the path for this AI revolution, it’s fascinating to see how different technologies can come together to create truly life-changing applications across sectors globally. The continued improvements in conversational AI will surely present attainable applications for businesses both big and small and we believe this points to a strong investment opportunity. 

The question is not if, but where we will see conversational AI and chatbots popping up in the world around us. Welcome to the new world of connection and customer experience, created by robots. 


THNQ Top Ten Holdings. ROBO Top Ten Holdings.


1 Nuance Communications

2 Zendesk

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