When it comes to the AI landscape in 2023, ChatGPT has reigned supreme for a long time now. The AI chatbot’s immense abilities have turned this simple website into a bookmark millions visit every day. However, Google has long been hiding in wait with its own ChatGPT competitor. Well, after months of waiting, Google Bard AI is now finally out and available to a select few users. We were among the lucky few to get access and decided to pit Google Bard vs ChatGPT for a head-on feature and response comparison. So, if you wanted to know about the major differences between these AI bots and see them in action in real time, keep reading.
While we will be comparing both the AI chatbots with selective prompts, we will first highlight the major differences between Bard AI vs ChatGPT. If you would rather skip ahead, use the table below to do so.
What Is Google Bard AI and OpenAI ChatGPT
For those unaware of the AI war being waged altogether, take a few minutes to first learn about both chatbots before looking at the usage examples or differences.
Created by San-Francisco based company OpenAI, ChatGPT is an AI-based chatbot based on the company’s language models. Upon its release, ChatGPT immensely soared in popularity due to its expansive nature of capabilities. Because of its extremely capable GPT-3 model, the bot could do all kinds of things including writing complex code, drafting essays, and stories, giving life advice, playing up hypothetical scenarios, and much more. After the release of the new GPT-4 LLM, the bot gained even more power and remains extremely popular to this day.
Long been considered ChatGPT’s rival, Google Bard is an experimental conversational AI service. Bard AI is based on a smaller-sized version of the company’s LaMDA language model that came out a few years ago. Google has trained Bard on its own set of data, including an advantage or two, which we will discuss below. The company promises Bard AI will give fresh, high-quality responses including some of the things ChatGPT can do. However, while ChatGPT is open to everyone, Google Bard is still limited.
Google Bard vs ChatGPT: Major Differences
Now that you have a small idea about both chatbots, let’s begin talking about the various differences. The debate between Google Bard vs ChatGTP is one that has a lot of people thinking. However, while both chatbots have their own capabilities, there are some key differences between the two. The most important of these are:
1. Coding Proficiency
One of the most prominent ways people have been using ChatGPT is by having it code for them. The AI chatbot is extremely adept at writing complex code in a variety of languages. Those who have been browsing Twitter long enough know that people have been building games and even full-scale chatbots with ChatGPT’s help. The AI chatbot can not only output code but easily debug multiple instances of it.
2. Multiple Answers
Whenever you ask ChatGPT for answers, it usually gives a single output unless explicitly told otherwise. The bot is capable of rendering various variations and can go as high as users want it. However, this default response to questions might be an annoying factor for some.
Google Bard AI outputs different versions of the same answers. Calling them Drafts, the AI chatbot lets users choose from any of them, so they decide which response fits them the most. Depending on the drafts, each might have a different source for accuracy. Users can pick any one answer and can even mix and match them all for the ultimate answer. This is one of the biggest differences between Bard AI and ChatGPT. This inclusion is a welcome feature as a singular response might not always be the most accurate or apt.
3. Conversation Retention
A variety of AI chatbots these days come with conversation retention. For those not aware, this essentially means that the chatbot will take what you said to it earlier and draw on it for future answers. So if previously you asked a bot for a recipe, it can answer follow-up questions without forgetting the context. ChatGPT possesses a level of conversation retention. The AI bot’s model can remember up to 3,000 words from the current conversation. However, it cannot access its past conversation to form responses. Nonetheless, it does a good job of keeping the flow going.
Google Bard is currently quite bad at holding context. When asked a follow-up question after requesting knock-knock jokes, Google Bard AI gave a completely different answer. Google has explicitly stated that Bard AI’s ability to hold context is purposely limited for now. As the bot continues to learn, so should its contextual ability. However, for those looking for a clear-cut answer between Bard vs ChatGPT on this, the latter wins.
4. Internet Access
One of the biggest drawbacks of ChatGPT has always been its lack of Internet access. Even with its latest GPT-4 model, the AI chatbot uses a dataset that has no world knowledge of events that occurred after September 2021. This makes the bot prone to making factual errors when compared to ones that can access the Internet like Microsoft Bing AI.
Google Bard, fortunately, has real-time access to the Internet. Just like Bing, Bard AI can search the Internet and intelligently draw up answers to all your questions. This makes it extremely powerful when it comes to fetching up-to-date information without any major errors. Like Bing, Bard AI also lists the URL sources at the bottom for users to peruse through (not often, though). So when it comes to which bot in Bard vs ChatGPT has the latest responses, it’s going to be Google Bard AI.
5. Language Support
ChatGPT’s latest GPT-4 language model has added support for even more languages. The latest LLM has demonstrated support for over 26 different languages. These include a variety of languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, and many more. This makes ChatGPT an extremely capable bot that can speak quite well in many languages.
Google Bard only supports US English for now. While Google has said it’s working on making Bard speak in other languages, the AI bot believes it can do it now. It answered the same below when asked how many languages it can speak. However, Google Bard could not come up with a poem in French, which pretty much confirmed the company’s response. Only time will tell when and which languages are added first.
With widescale Internet access, one would think that Google Bard AI can easily formulate answers and not mess up at all. However, our previous check for conversation retention clearly opposed this. Bard AI is unfortunately quite prone to hallucinating and coming up with false information. While it’s not intentional, the AI can still confidently spew out misinformation while believing it to be true. For instance – when asked about the latest earthquake in Delhi in 2023, Bard AI quoted an incident from last year. In reality, an earthquake had occurred just a few hours ago with well-covered news pieces available online.
ChatGPT too is prone to hallucination. However, the bot’s latest GPT-4 model claims to have reduced hallucinations by 35% when compared to GPT-3. This update has been tried out by multiple people, and even according to us, ChatGPT has gotten better and reduced hallucinations. However, it’s not fully there yet.
When it comes to Bard AI not hallucinating, it might be a bit too soon to fully expect it to be working. Since this is the company’s first iteration, it will go through its own stages of errors and hallucinations before it is improved. So as it stands, for now, ChatGPTl likely has the more accurate model.
7. Crediting Sources
As is typical of AI chatbots, they all output their data from datasets. They are trained on a plethora of sample data, including various texts, conversations, images, and more. As such, both ChatGPT and Bard have their specific datasets from which they infer answers. However, AI bots like Google Bard and Bing also have access to the Internet. A combination of these factors allows the bots to rephrase information and provide it to the users.
However, even though Google Bard AI has real-time access to the Internet, it does a poor job of crediting sources or even phrasing its own information in some cases. In our testing, we asked about what is Haki in One Piece. Google Bard AI, as expected, gave out three different drafts. However, a certain draft Bard had not only copied content word for word from our own website but had also failed to credit it as a source. Have a look right here:
Bing AI, on the other hand, uses information found on the web and rephrases content after studying it. It also has the decency to provide sources (in footnotes), giving links to the articles it might have sourced inspiration from. This is something Google Bard sorely lacks and could do immediately. While we did see source links every once in a while, it was extremely rare, and well, it was disappointing to see Bard copying content like this.
Finally, while ChatGPT cannot access the Internet, it does a convincing job of rephrasing content — even though it does not share sources. Moreover, we did not find any duplication from our articles in ChatGPT. So when it comes to giving proper sources, MS Bing AI wins this round.
ChatGPT vs Google Bard: Examples
We also sorted through some prompts online, came up with some on our own, and used them on both Bard AI and ChatGPT to compare them objectively. It’s worth noting that we usually took draft#1 from Bard. Here are the results. You can decide which bot is better.
1. Asking a riddle
2. Convert $100 to $10,000 in a month
3. Comment on Activision Acquisition
4. Fashion a recipe from ingredients
5. Will AI take over jobs?
6. Testing the Guardrails
7. Trying to trick the AIs
8. Explain like I’m 5
9. Make a Spotify playlist
10. Which Google product will shut down next?
You will see we have included two drafts from Google Bard. This is because we wanted to showcase Draft#3 as it featured the wrong products that have been shut down.
While Google does come with some considerable advantages including Internet access, it is clear that ChatGPT has the advantage for now. However, we can expect that to change as the Silicon Valley giant refines its model with data and comes out with more features. Until then, we have the full power of ChatGPT to play around with. You can get ChatGPT on Siri, on your Apple Watch. There are also a good number of ChatGPT alternatives out there that fit the bill too. So which AI chatbot wins this battle? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below!