As time moves on we have all recognized we are in an era of continual technological advancements. One of the most profound technologies that has deeply imbedded itself into our daily lives is the personal computer, and along with it, accessory technologies with new and better ways to assist us with our work and our lives. One of the most promising technologies is artificial intelligence (AI) and we can clearly see its influence on the Internet. The major search engines Google, Bing, and a host of others have been using AI for years, although a new era of AI has recently emerged and the sophistication of this technology has reached a new high in the form of chatbots.
Flavors of ChatGPT
Several companies have created their own version of this chatbot; Microsoft has incorporated artificial intelligence usage into Microsoft Office applications, their web browser Microsoft Edge, and their famous search engine Bing. OpenAI is the company that created the bot technology and this AI product performing the heavy lifting is known as ChatGPT (GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer), which is a chatbot infused with artificial intelligence. It accepts and responds to a text input in the form of general questions, media articles, social media content, homework questions and essays, programming code, data lists for big business decisions, and many more uses. Microsoft’s implementation of ChatGPT using the Bing search engine is known as BingChat. Microsoft also offers a more sophisticated version known as CoPilot, which is available only through a monthly subscription.
Google’s implementation of ChatGPT is known as Google Bard, and it is not based on ChatGPT as Microsoft is. Bard is based on Google’s own PaLM 2 model, which contains a similar model structure to ChatGPT. Be aware that Google Bard is currently offering the public a Beta version, so it will obviously have a few bugs in it. Google Bard does many of the same things ChatGPT does, as described above.
How to Use All 3 Versions
Of course, there is the original flavor of ChatGPT, and that comes from OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT. You may setup an account with them and then begin using ChatGPT 3.5 using a standard web browser of your choice. After you have setup your account, in your browser’s URL window enter: https://chat.openai.com/
You will see the following below:
Near the bottom of the screen, you will see the words “Send a message”. Click your mouse inside of that box and input your text. I decided I wanted to gain some information about increasing web site visitors so I entered, “increase visitors to web site”; after the text has been entered, select the arrow button shown on the far-right to send the text to ChatGPT.
Give ChatGPT several seconds to process the text input and you will see the output information. ChatGPT’s answer to my input data is shown below:
Usage with Microsoft BingChat
In your browser URL window, enter: bing.com. Select “Try it” button. This will engage the AI engine and you will see your output results.
You see the output to your question which was preselected for you. To enter a question of your choice, near the bottom of the screen, there is an input box, “Ask me anything”.
Usage with Google Bard
To use Google, in your browser URL window, enter: “bard.google.com”. Select the “Try it” button and once you have agreed to Google’s terms of service, you are taken the screen below.
In the “Enter a prompt here” box near the bottom of the screen, I have entered into the text box: “improve my tennis game”. The output results are shown below:
Options and Pricing
The 3 different versions of ChatGPT chatbots mentioned are all free of charge. If you prefer to stick with the original OpenAI ChatGPT 3.5, it is free. You have the choice to upgrade to ChatGPT 4 for $20/per month which provides more sophistication, including the ability to input graphic images.
If you desire more sophistication with BingChat, you may employ Microsoft CoPilot, which is available for $30/month.
If you want to up the ante with more sophistication using Google Bard, there will be a little bit of a wait since Google Bard is still in its Beta (experimental) version of the program.
I have experimented with these various chatbots and I am truly impressed with all 3 choices offered to the public. I also played with more sophisticated inputs such as how to create a list in Python or C programming languages. In both cases the chatbot provided an output showing the C code and the Python code answer.
Keep in mind that if you opt for using ChatGPT from OpenAI, data programming into it ended in 2021, so if you input something such as a popular world event that occurred after 2021, the chatbot will not have much of an answer. BingChat and Google Bard do not suffer from that limitation, as both of them use data up to the current date; that’s one strike against ChatGPT.
Another thing to consider when using any of these chatbots is that they are not perfect. The results you observe are related to the context in which you input the data. If you don’t enter the data correctly, you may find that the output result makes little sense. This could be especially true for Google Bard, since the program is still in its Beta version.
All things considered, I am excited about the future of artificial intelligence. It has taken a giant leap forward in sophistication. These chatbots discussed are relatively new for the public; ChatGPT was released in November of 2022, BingChat and Google Bard became available last February and March respectively. Although it has taken AI several years to reach this point, a ChatGPT-style of chatbot technology that contains the power to resolve problems across a broad spectrum is a technology definitely worth waiting for.