What a year it has been for artificial intelligence! The spark created by OpenAI’s ChatGPT in 2022 transformed into a blazing fire as a number of tech firms started an AI race to launch their own chatbots. Google, Microsoft, Snap, Meta, and a number of new-age startups brought out their own large language models (LLMs) and in turn, generative AI chatbots. We saw the ChatGPT 3.5 version get its knowledge base upgraded to 2022, while chatbots like Google Bard and Bing AI operate with real-time knowledge of the internet. But now that the dust has settled, which AI-powered assistants will feature on the ‘best AI chatbots of 2023’ list? Let us take a closer look.
Created by OpenAI, ChatGPT can be considered the pioneer of the generative AI chatbot trend. One of the most popular AI assistants in existence, it is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture which feeds the program with a large amount of text data to help the AI learn the nuances of human language. You can ask ChatGPT any question and it will find an answer which will be curated to the specifics of your query. Its GPT-based training also allows it to undertake specific tasks such as coding, offering recipes from ingredients, and even writing essays, stories, and poems. On top of that, it also remembers the previous prompts and adapts to the user when used for a long session. At present, its knowledge base is up to January 2022, meaning it will not be able to answer queries related to events that took place after that.
In our experience, we found it to be efficient in text generation tasks, and broad-line factual questions. The chatbot does a decent job of offering information. However, when asking nuanced questions, we observed instances of AI hallucinations, where it provided incorrect or misleading information.
Google Bard is based on the company's next-generation language and conversation capabilities powered by their Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA). It is available in 46 languages and 238 countries. Google Bard, unlike ChatGPT, has a real-time memory as it picks its information directly from the internet. It also offers multiple responses to every query that the user can refer to, in case they do not like the primary one. Once a user provides a prompt, Bard uses the context in the prompt and the interaction with the user to draft several versions of a response. Bard can also show results with images. It also has extensions with other Google products such as Drive, Location, and YouTube. So, it can also answer questions revolving around these platforms to a certain extent.
In our experience, we found Bard to be a superior chatbot when it comes to queries about current affairs. It is capable of providing the latest information by scouring it through the internet. It also tends to provide responses in bullet format which is good for readability and understanding topics easily.
However, it is also prone to more inaccuracies and absurdly wrong responses. Asking the question “What country in Africa starts with a K?” generates the response “There are actually no countries in Africa that begin with the letter "K"!”. This is of course wrong since Kenya starts with a K. This issue appears to have emerged because the AI chatbot scrapes some high-ranking websites with this inaccurate information.
Bing Chatbot is a large language mode (LLM) chatbot developed by Microsoft. It is currently available in the Bing search engine and the Bing app. Like all chatbots, it can also answer most user queries and can generate text, draft emails, and more. It can also generate different creative text formats, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, letters, etc. Alongside, it can also help with unique tasks such as booking appointments, making travel arrangements, and shopping online.
In our experience, we found Bing AI to be a helpful tool that can assist with queries but also in other tasks such as booking appointments and the like. It also sticks to concise, search-result-based answers, which helps avoid inaccuracies to a large extent. However, it is still capable of hallucinations, and its answers are more generic than either Bard or ChatGPT.
Ernie, which stands for Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration, is a conversational AI chatbot developed by the Chinese company Baidu. It is currently China's answer to OpenAI's ChatGPT. It is based on Baidu's in-house Large Language Model (LLM) Ernie 3.0-Titan and Pre-trained Dialogue Generation Model (PLATO). Ernie offers multi-modal capabilities, meaning that users can interact with the AI service with texts and images in both prompts and responses.
While we were not able to test out the Ernie bot, various reports claim that it functions largely like ChatGPT. That means it will give you responses in a formal tone, and will offer bulleted responses. Its image generation is reportedly much better than the first generation of DALL-E, although not on par with Midjourney or Stability AI.
One of the most interesting chatbots is incorporated into the social media app Snapchat. Called My AI, it runs on OpenAI's ChatGPT technology which has been customized for the chatbot. Like other AI chatbots, My AI can answer your burning trivia questions, provide gift recommendations, and more. While it was initially reserved for only Snapchat+ subscribers, My AI is now accessible to all Snapchat users.
In our experience, we found it to be a specific use case chatbot. It has a friendly tone, which is good for users who are looking to interact with it, and it can also be added to group chats. It can also give recommendations, which is a cool feature. It does have instances of misinformation and should not be treated as a reliable source of factual information.
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