Which AI Chatbot Wins in 2024?

After ChatGPT was released to the public in November 2022, it was only a matter of time before other tech giants released alternatives to ChatGPT.

In March 2023, Bard AI, Google’s answer to OpenAI’s game-changing chatbot, was launched in the US and UK. Since then, it’s been renamed Gemini, and a paid version has been released. How do the big-name AI tools compare today? Our ChatGPT vs Gemini guide explains the key differences between the two based on a new round of testing conducted in March 2024.

Bard (now Gemini) used to be powered by Google’s LaMDA and PaLM 2 language models, but now the free version of Gemini uses Gemini Pro to generate responses – and after testing it, I can say Gemini provides better responses than ChatGPT-3.5, which powers the free version of ChatGPT.  Gemini Ultra, the language model that powers Gemini Advanced, also provided marginally better responses than GPT-4, which powers ChatGPT (both $20/month) – as well as better imagery.

With more and more businesses using AI in the workplace, I thought we’d find out which one generates better answers to a variety of different questions. In this extensive head-to-head test of both services, we cover:

Gemini vs ChatGPT: What’s the Difference?

The key difference between Gemini and ChatGPT is the Large Language Models (LLMs) they use.and their respective data sources. Gemini – formerly Bard – has been powered by several different language models since it was launched in February 2023, while ChatGPT users have been using GPT-3, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4 since it was made publicly available.

Bard was originally powered by LaMDA and more recently PaLM 2. PaLM 2 can reason in over 100 languages and its training set includes a lot more code than the LaMDA’s does. Thanks to PaLM 2, Bard got better at coding in programming languages like Python. Other information used to train PaLM 2 includes science papers, maths expressions, and source code.

In December 2023, Google released Gemini Pro. Gemini Pro tests better than PaLM 2, and early reports suggest it’s more helpful when providing answers to coding queries, as well as written tasks (which our tests suggest too). Since then, the company has released Gemini Ultra, which powers the new Gemini Advanced chatbot.

Google’s Gemini language models – Pro, Ultra, and Nano – are “natively multimodal”, which means it’s trained a variety of inputs, not just text. Google has also fine-tuned the model with more multimodel information. They can also access the internet in real time.

Gemini Advanced writing the opening to a novel. Image: Tech.co

ChatGPT is powered by the GPT family of language models developed by OpenAI. GPT 3.5 powers the free version of ChatGPT (which doesn’t access to live information from the internet). It’s trained on a pre-defined set of data that hasn’t been updated since January 2022 (originally September 2021). ChatGPT is trained on Common Crawl, Wikipedia, news articles, and an array of documents, as is Gemini.

GPT-4, available to only ChatGPT Plus customers, is trained on a larger dataset (between 1-1.7 trillion parameters) than Gemini Pro, rumored to have 540 billion training parameters. The Gemini Nano models, however, are reported to have between 1.8 and 3.25 billion parameters.

Gemini vs ChatGPT: Other Key Differences

Aside from differences in data sources and language models, there are a couple of other key differences between Gemini and ChatGPT:

  • Conversational learning: ChatGPT can learn from the conversations it has with people and “hold context”, whereas Gemini does this in a much more limited way at the moment.
  • Drafts: Gemini will produce multiple responses to queries you pose to it, which you can access by pressing “View Drafts.” ChatGPT only produces a single answer to each query.
  • Response editing: Gemini will let you edit responses after you’ve sent them, whereas you can’t do this with ChatGPT.
  • Real-time access to the Internet: Gemini has always been able to access the Internet in real-time, whereas ChatGPT has only just acquired this function and it’s not available on the free version.
  • Image-based responses: Gemini has always had access to the internet so can source images from Google. Bard Advanced and ChatGPT Plus users can both now generate original AI imagery.
  • Capacity to read responses aloud: Gemini has native tet-to-speech capabilities, whereas ChatGPT does not.

Google Gemini vs ChatGPT Tests: Key Findings

Before I jump into how Gemini and ChatGPT’s free and paid versions responded to our series of carefully curated questions, here are some top-line takeaways from using the two chatbots over the past few days:

  • Gemini’s responses were more conversational, while ChatGPT’s were more informational
  • The free version of Gemini is better than the free version of ChatGPT
  • However, Gemini Advanced is only slightly better than ChatGPT Plus
  • Gemini offers a better user experience, with more imagery and website links
  • Gemini Advanced generates better AI images than ChatGPT Plus
  • Gemini responses were often set out in a more readable format than ChatGPT’s responses
  • Gemini was better at generating spreadsheet formulas than ChatGPT

Remember, Gemini and ChatGPT are being worked on in real-time, and generate unique responses to requests.

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