AI Surveys vs Traditional Surveys: Choosing the Right One for You


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People have a tendency to surprise you. Far too many companies have put out a product that they expected people to love and flock to, only to have it fall flat on its face. Can your company afford to make that mistake? The only way to know what people truly think is to ask them, so it’s no wonder why surveys have become a cornerstone of market research.

But technology has brought new possibilities to consumer surveys, so before you launch your own research survey, you need to understand your options to see which one is the best fit for you. Let’s consider two types of surveys: AI surveys and traditional surveys.

What Is an AI Survey?

An AI survey is one that uses the technology of artificial intelligence to enhance your survey in some way. One common way these surveys use AI is to process participants’ short-answer responses and analyze them to produce quantifiable data. In other cases, an AI survey may use artificial intelligence to adjust survey questions to each participant while they’re taking the survey, similar to the way an interviewer might ask follow-up questions to someone based on their responses.

AI Surveys vs Traditional Surveys: Similarities

AI surveys are generally seen as the next generation of traditional surveys, but while there is plenty that separates these two types of surveys, they have a variety of similarities too.

Both Gather Information in the Same Way

There are many ways to gather information in your research – evaluating existing studies, conducting tests and experiments, and so on. Both AI surveys and traditional surveys, though, gather information in the same way: asking participants directly. Whether they’re asking for opinions or for self-reported facts, and whether they’re using AI or traditional survey methods, these types of surveys at their core use the same question-and-answer method.

Both are Cost-Effective and Efficient

Surveys are one of the most cost-effective and efficient research methods. You’re able to get answers from a large number of people in a short amount of time. Compared to one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and other market research strategies, both AI surveys and traditional surveys are more economical.

Both Can Be Implemented in Multiple Ways

No two market research studies are exactly the same, so true to form, AI surveys and traditional surveys are both easy to adjust into the form you want. For example, you might conduct a survey as a one-time snapshot of participants’ impressions or repeat it later to see how their opinions change over time. You could use your survey as a concept test for an early idea or as a product test to evaluate more detailed prototypes of your product. Any of these are possible with either a traditional or AI consumer survey.

AI Surveys vs Traditional Surveys: Differences

AI surveys and traditional surveys may use similar methods but there are clear differences between their capabilities and the way they’re used.


Traditional surveys are rather rigid. You come up with a list of questions and multiple-choice answer options, and participants choose the answers they agree with most. It’s generally the same survey for every person. AI surveys, on the other hand, are far more customizable. Without added work on your part, the survey can shift its questions based on each respondent’s answers to gather more productive and thorough information.

Potential Platforms

Most surveys today are conducted online for the ease and convenience of reaching a wider pool of respondents. But there are merits to consider in deciding between online surveys vs traditional surveys, and some organizations still prefer using hard copy surveys in some circumstances. It’s important to note that traditional surveys can be conducted online or with a hard copy, while AI surveys must be conducted online.

Final Results

While there are plenty of differences between AI surveys and traditional surveys, the most notable difference might be in the finished results. AI surveys are capable of significantly more in-depth results, giving you both qualitative and quantitative data and pulling it together into actionable, usable conclusions. Getting this degree of information from a traditional survey would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming.

Advantages of Conversational AI Surveys Over Traditional Surveys

Choosing between conversational AI surveys and traditional surveys is a choice every research team makes, and while they have their differences, there’s a clear winner. There are distinct advantages of an AI survey that a traditional survey can’t match.

More Genuine, Accurate Results

In a traditional multiple-choice survey, respondents are generally limited to the responses you have come up with and included as possible answers. Yes, you can include short answer questions in traditional surveys, but those answers are difficult to efficiently tabulate, so they’re often tossed aside. AI surveys allow your respondents to give you genuine answers about their honest opinions without the limitations of multiple-choice questions, leading to more accurate and detailed results.

More Engaging Experience

For a survey to be included in your data, the respondent needs to complete the full survey. When participants drop out part way through, it’s a waste of your resources and their time. To make your investment more productive, you need to keep respondents engaged so they’ll follow through, and a conversational AI survey does this by providing a more interactive and interesting experience.

Launching Your Advanced AI Survey

AI surveys are the future of market research, but you don’t have to wait until the future to start reaping their benefits. Learn more about GroupSolver and sign up for a GroupSolver demo today.

Rastislav Ivanic
Rasto Ivanic is a co-founder and CEO of GroupSolver® - a market research tech company. GroupSolver has built an intelligent market research platform that helps businesses answer their burning why, how, and what questions. Before GroupSolver, Rasto was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company and later he led business development at Mendel Biotechnology. Rasto is a trained economist with a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, where he also received his MBA.


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