The Best AI Chatbots: A Spotlight on 7 Tools Leading the Charge

Axel Grubba, March 01, 2024
The Best AI Chatbots: A Spotlight on 7 Tools Leading the Charge

Imagine this: You’re an entrepreneur managing a burgeoning business, your inbox is flooded with queries, and you’re struggling to keep up. Or, perhaps, you’re a writer staring at a blank page, the words refusing to flow. Maybe you’re a developer working late into the night, wrestling with lines of code. Now, imagine having a digital ally in each of these situations—a tool that can respond to your customers, produce creative content, or even generate lines of code.

Average Customers chatted with AI chatbot

This isn’t a sci-fi scenario; this is the reality made possible by AI chatbots.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way since its inception. Once a concept relegated to the realms of academic papers and speculative fiction, it has now become a reliable part of our everyday lives. And at the heart of this revolution are AI chatbots, automated systems powered by increasingly sophisticated machine learning algorithms.

The rapid evolution of chatbots has seen them become more nuanced and versatile, capable of understanding context, and even intent. They’re learning to speak our language, in all its idiosyncratic complexity. As these technologies continue to evolve, they’re set to become even more integral to our digital landscape.

Let’s take a stroll through the virtual landscape and acquaint ourselves with some of the best AI chatbots in the market.

1. ChatGPT

Best Overall

First up is ChatGPT, the brainchild of OpenAI. ChatGPT was introduced in late 2022 and quickly gained popularity for its usability and uncomplicated interface. Users simply initiate dialogue by typing in your conversation starter, and as the AI responds, it neatly organizes each conversation thread on a menu to the left, allowing you to maintain separate dialogues and return to them at your leisure.

Despite its occasional missteps—factual inaccuracies delivered with unsettling conviction, or—ChatGPT is the reigning champion in the burgeoning AI chatbot arena. It possesses the uncanny ability to remember the context within each conversation, utilizing it to refine subsequent outputs. Its functionality extends to accepting text commands to shape and personalize the output.

ChatGPT users

Impressive as ChatGPT’s Legacy version, GPT-3 is, its successor, GPT-4, is even more capable. With a substantially more extensive training dataset, GPT-4 displays enhanced flexibility, precision, and a better understanding of the unfolding narrative that it takes from user prompts.

As expected, innovation in this space is paving the way for more creative executions that improve the tech’s performance. ChatGPT expanded its repertoire with the addition of plugins, which allow the bot to retrieve data, execute programs, and interface with third-party services.

2. Jasper Chat

Best for marketing copy

Jasper Home Page

Jasper, a powerhouse for AI-assisted content creation, offers AI templates for an impressive range of content types. From blogs to YouTube video scripts to LinkedIn profiles and blog posts, Jasper is now throwing its hat into the chatbot ring with the introduction of Jasper Chat.

The standout feature of Jasper is its ability to effortlessly transform a conversation into a document, or even multiple documents. This makes the process of ideation and the creation of first drafts remarkably straightforward. Simply enter a prompt to initiate an article, and Jasper Chat returns not only the desired output but also suggests potential follow-up articles on related topics.

In terms of output quality, Jasper Chat is comparable to ChatGPT, given that they both utilize OpenAI’s GPT models. However, on closer examination, it appears that Jasper’s developers have fine-tuned the model to enhance its suitability for content production. Additionally, the chatbot’s internet connectivity facilitates quick fact-checking with lists of sources.

But Jasper doesn’t stop at text generation. Once you’ve created a plethora of fresh content pieces, you might need accompanying images. To this end, Jasper offers an AI image generation add-on, meaning there’s no need to leave the platform to address your visual needs. While these features come at a cost, they provide excellent value for content creators engaged in high-volume production.

3. Google Bard

Best for Flexible Copy Options

Google, a long-standing contender in the AI race, has integrated AI features throughout its vast product suite. The tech giant is also nurturing its own large language model, LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which forms the engine of Google Bard, a competitor to GPT.

Still in its experimental phase, Bard is currently on a waitlist basis, though Google One subscribers can get a head start. And while ChatGPT has been known to falter when it comes to facts, Bard it turned out, delivered even worse factual output. During its first public unveiling, Bard ended up dispensing incorrect information, much to the detriment of Bard’s pioneer AI product. However, it would be premature to completely disregard Bard’s potential.

A major feather in Bard’s cap is its ability to trawl the internet for sources (complete with a convenient “Google it” button), a feature that sets it apart from ChatGPT, which is somewhat marooned in 2021. Bard also has the option to modify your prompt post-submission and offers a choice of three versions for each response, giving you the flexibility to select the most appropriate. While Bard does keep a record of your conversation history, this feature is switched off by default. It can be activated by clicking on the Bard Activity button on the left-side menu.

4. HuggingChat

Best for Creative Teams

HuggingChat is the open-source chatbot brainchild of Hugging Face. The user experience is quite similar to ChatGPT, and it displays an equal affinity for instruction-following. The bot’s cheerful disposition however is more evident in its liberal use of exclamation points and phrases like “Sure thing!”, “Of course!”, and “Let me know if any of these spark interest and we can brainstorm further!”.

However, the journey with HuggingChat isn’t entirely smooth:

Like its main competitors, HuggingChat is prone to a fair share of factual errors (contrary to its belief, David Benger isn’t a co-founder of Microsoft), reinforcing the importance of developing our fact-checking skills. There are instances where the output feels disjointed as well.

Occasionally, HuggingChat’s responses end prematurely, so keeping your prompts short can be beneficial. The command to “continue” doesn’t always guarantee success. Sometimes, it follows your instructions and indeed continues, however, it can also go completely off-tangent so users will need to keep a very close eye on the flow of the conversation.

Despite these hiccups, the overall experience with HuggingChat is enjoyable. It provides a useful benchmark against ChatGPT, offering insight into the processing of inputs and generation of outputs by these models. It’s a worthy addition to your brainstorming tools, although keeping it out of your serious workflow, for now, might be best.

5. Bing AI

Best for Internet Access

In the early stages of 2023, Microsoft strengthened its partnership with OpenAI, paving the development and integration of AI features into its product suite. Among these products was Bing, now equipped with an AI chat feature designed to assist with internet searches. Upon entering your prompt, Bing undertakes the search, processes the results, and serves up a reply complete with the links it referenced.

Notably, Bing AI goes a step further, substantiating its responses with footnotes that direct you back to the original source. A single click on the footnote whisks you away to the corresponding web article in a new tab, allowing for immediate verification.

This added feature is invaluable in scenarios where accuracy is paramount, be it for a professional deliverable, an academic assignment, research purposes, or even a casual conversation where you want to ensure your facts are spot on.

BingAI and ChatGPT comparison
Source: Nerdynav

In contrast, ChatGPT, with its knowledge cut-off in 2021 and lack of internet connectivity (a fact it will consistently remind you of), doesn’t possess the same capabilities. Bing AI uses the same AI model as ChatGPT but circumvents these limitations. Nevertheless, fact-checking remains paramount, as Bing AI, like its competitors, tends to assert “facts” with undue confidence.

6. Perplexity

Perplexity, in its quest to bridge the digital divide left by ChatGPT’s lack of internet access, provides a user interface that is adept at handling larger volumes of information and extensive, less structured searches. Upon generating the output, it doesn’t stop there – a list of sources is promptly furnished beneath the response, offering you a clear roadmap of the information trail.

This is where the flexibility of Perplexity truly shines. You can choose to either introduce a new prompt to extend the search or select from a set of suggested related terms. As you proceed, all your results accumulate at the bottom of the screen, enabling you to scroll up or down to review the entire collection of data at your own pace.

But it doesn’t end there. Perplexity comes loaded with a range of practical add-ons: an iOS app for conducting mobile searches, the ability to share findings via a direct link, and even the convenience of tweeting your discoveries directly from the platform. Striking an appealing balance between simplicity and comprehensive detail, Perplexity makes a strong case for its place in the AI chatbot arena.

7. YouChat

With a user interface that bears a striking resemblance to a Google Search results page, YouChat brings something new to the table. Alongside the familiar tabs for video, news, and image searches, it introduces a dedicated tab for AI chat.

Upon entering your prompt and receiving the output, a list of web search results is conveniently displayed on the right side of the screen. But it doesn’t stop there. Contextual buttons located at the bottom of the screen allow for an even deeper dive into the topic at hand. These open up a variety of additional resources, such as a collection of relevant Reddit posts or, for instance, maps pinpointing any places mentioned.

For those who appreciate the straightforwardness of ChatGPT, YouChat might come across as somewhat overwhelming. However, for those who appreciate having a wealth of information at their fingertips, YouChat offers a more efficient browsing experience.

Adding to its roster of features, YouChat maintains a chat history, similar to ChatGPT, and also provides the option to share your searches with others. For those longing for a Bing-like AI chat experience within the Google ecosystem, YouChat is certainly worth exploring.

Bottom line?

Choosing an AI chatbot isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario; it hinges on your specific needs.

If you’re after a reliable, multi-purpose tool, ChatGPT is a solid choice. For those seeking real-time web-surfing prowess, Bing AI would be your best option; and the robust functionality and features of Jasper Chat and similar bots are perfect for marketers and writers.

However, always remember that while AI has made great strides, it’s not flawless. Approach these tools with a discerning eye and always double-check their outputs. As with all tech, knowing its limitations is as essential as understanding its strengths so you can properly maximize them. The world of AI chatbots is definitely evolving, and there’s truly something out there for everyone.

Axel Grubba is the founder of Findstack, a B2B software comparison platform, with his background spanning management consulting and venture capital where he invested in software. Recently, Axel has developed a passion for coding and enjoys traveling when he is not building and improving Findstack.
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