The best AI bot 🤖 ChatGPT vs Bard + Bing
Wonder Tools — I tested AI bots. Here's what I learned.
Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing are new AI chatbots competing with ChatGPT. I’ve been testing them on a variety of research questions.
Bottom line: ChatGPT is the most useful AI bot. It’s versatile, thorough, and more accurate than Bard. Bing’s AI bot is a close second. It’s unique among these AI bots in providing links to sources related to its answers. Bard is the weakest of the bunch. Its answers were the least reliable, though all of the bots misled me at times. Read on to judge for yourself.
Bing, Bard & ChatGPT are free with limitations
Bing’s AI bot works only on Microsoft’s Edge browser.
Google’s Bard has a waitlist.
ChatGPT has occasionally been overwhelmed by queries.
Pricing: All of these bots are free. ChatGPT has a $20/month option to avoid being shut out at peak times.
4 tests to compare the AI bots
I pitted Bing, Bard and ChatGPT against one another on a series of queries. I also included Google Docs’ new AI, which I wrote about last week.
Propose an itinerary ✈️
Goal: Create an itinerary for a week in Setauket, NY, where my in-laws live.
Why use a bot to craft an itinerary: When prompting AI for an itinerary you can include numerous specifications to personalize your results.
Request a particular kind of hotel or campsite. ⛺️
Note travelers’ ages, special needs or food requirements. ♿️
Prompt it with your sight-seeing preferences. Mention your interest in historic sites and hiking, for example, or museums. Or tell it you’d like to spend time on beaches or at ball games. 🏖️⚽️🎭
Problems: All of the bots made up destinations in response to my query. Not only were some places in the AI responses fake, but the AI bots didn’t recognize obstacles like the Long Island Sound, which made some sites inaccessible. Don’t rely on AI-generated itineraries for remote destinations.
Recommendation: Start with Bing GPT for AI-driven itineraries because it offers useful links with its suggestions. ChatGPT can craft detailed descriptions of each suggested stopping point when you prompt for more detail. Bard, still in its early experimental stage, isn’t yet reliable for itineraries.
Verdict: Don’t throw out your travel guidebooks just yet
See the itinerary prompt + annotated AI results
Draft a business letter 📩
Goal: Draft an email to a building’s board
Why use a bot to draft a letter: Writing and reading routine emails eats up an average of three hours of each workday for professionals who work in front of a screen. Reducing that time burden by speeding up the generation of the most routine emails seems like a good use of AI.
Problems: Since AI bots are not tuned to your personal style, they tend to adopt a tone that’s either too formal for you, or too casual. You’ll want to refine the results each time, until the next generation of personalized bots arrives. Along these lines I’m testing the new Personal.ai, which lets you train an AI bot to understand you.
Verdict: Bing’s letter was concise and closest to what I would actually send if I were writing this note. ChatGPT’s was also good. Bard’s letter exaggerated the situation I described in my prompt.
See the business letter prompt and the AI bot responses
Do quick research 📚
Goal: Summarize the history of the string quartet
Why use a bot for research help: Googling a topic generally yields a bunch of research sources. The documents tend to be static, though. You can’t query them or ask for a simpler version. With ChatGPT and other AI bots, you can ask for research to be summarized, simplified, translated or compared with other research. Or you can drill in on a particular aspect to delve deeper.
Problems: When the AI bots provide no links or source references, you’re left to wonder what is factual. If you’re already a topic expert, you’ll recognize what’s accurate and what’s not. Otherwise using AI bots for research is problematic because of their tendency to hallucinate. Unlike ChatGPT and Bard, Bing’s AI bot provides helpful links for further exploration.
Verdict: Bard got multiple facts wrong. Bing provided useful links, and ChatGPT provided the most thorough and helpful answer to the prompt.
Alternative: Perplexity is a new AI-driven search tool that provides links so you can dig into its results.
See the research prompt and the AI bot responses
Create a recipe 🧑🍳
Goal: Create a recipe with an odd mix of fridge ingredients
Why use a bot for recipes: You can give these AI bots any set of ingredients, along with any allergies, taste preferences, or time constraints. You can ask follow-up questions about cooking techniques.
Problems: Given that the AI hasn’t tasted any of the dishes it proposes, it’s hard to trust its responses. When the NYTimes tested AI Thanksgiving recipes, the results were apparently less than yummy.
Verdict: The AI bots offered similar recipes in response to an easy request. For simple soups, smoothies and sandwiches, AI recipes can be a quick alternative to digging through a mass of recipes online. For anything complex, chef beware.
See the recipe prompt and the AI bot responses
Wonder Tools Guide:
Get to know Bing, Bard and ChatGP
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Why bother w/ AI chatbots instead of a Google search?
You can engage the chatbots in an iterative dialogue, prompting them to refine the answers they give. You can’t yet do that with Google.
Example: I asked ChatGPT for pre-Internet examples of fast-growing companies. I followed-up by asking for more European examples. I drilled in to ask for more details, then asked for a comparison between companies cited. Then I asked for a list of ideas for potential case studies related to those comparisons. This kind of conversational exploration isn’t yet possible with Google.
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