Google Bard vs ChatGPT – what are the differences?

Google Bard vs ChatGPT – what are the differences?
Rory Greig Updated on by

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Now that both are out of their beta, we’re looking at Google Bard vs ChatGPT to see how they compare to one another.

The explosion of ChatGPT and the impact it has had on the public idea of AI and its capabilities was a cause of concern for Google. Keen not to be left behind they focussed even more on AI and have now released their own chatbot AI called Google Bard.

ChatGPT has established itself as the leading chatbot AI. It, and the GPT language models behind it, are already being used by many industries and businesses. The likes of Bing and Snapchat have, for example, incorporated them into their programmes.

So how does Google Bard compare? We’re going to be breaking down all the key similarities and differences between the two.

Both these programs are fairly new and it is clear they will continue to improve dramatically in the near future. For this reason, we are not trying to crown a clear winner but give you an overview of both, informing you of their strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s get into our comparison.

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Google Bard vs ChatGPT – similarities

The basic functionality of both chatbots is very similar. They are both conversational, meaning that you type in a prompt and the AI generates a response. You can then offer more prompts and both Google Bard and ChatGPT will remember the previous parts of the conversation, meaning you can drill down into a subject, without having to give the same instructions again and again.

For example, Google’s senior product director Jack Krawczyk demonstrated the program, asking Google Bard to help him come up with an idea for his kid’s birthday party. The AI came up with some suggestions which Krawczyk then gave feedback on to narrow down. After a bit of this back and forth, the AI had thought up a theme that Krawczyk was happy with.

This process would be very similar in ChatGPT. These similarities come about because both chatbots are built from Large Language Models or LLMs. These are like the engine that the chatbot is powered by. For example, New Bing AI and ChatGPT are different AIs that are both powered by the same LLM called GPT 3.

Google meanwhile has its own LLM called PaLM-2. This was released recently when Google took Bard out of beta. PaLM-2 brought with it a tonne of new features, raising its performance. This now means that Google Bard has image input, just like GPT-4.

Google Bard vs ChatGPT – differences

There are, of course, plenty of differences to discuss. The most important of these is the kind of information that each chatbot has access to.

One of the main selling points of Google Bard is that it has live access to the internet, while ChatGPT’s knowledge ends after September 2021. This means that it could summarize recent news stories for example, while ChatGPT does not have access to this information.

Google Bard will also name-check where it has sourced its fact from which is good for keeping track of how accurate it is. Another useful feature of Google Bard is an integrated ‘Google it’ button, which will take you to a traditional Google search if Bard is not able to come up with an answer you are satisfied with.

ChatGPT can code too. In fact, it’s pretty good at coding, being capable not only of generating but also debugging. For a while, Google Bard did not have this feature. While that did change with the latest update it is still a bit behind ChatGPT in this area.

Google Bard vs ChatGPT – which one should you choose?

Overall, these are both seriously impressive AIs that are very capable of creating natural-sounding language in response to a wide range of prompts. The potential uses are nearly endless, from simply time saves for mindless tasks to generating ideas to kick start creativity.

Overall, from the tests we have seen, it is clear that ChatGPT is slightly more advanced. Its answers will tend to be more detailed and the ideas it offers less generic.

However, Google Bard has some temping features and the fact that it can access the latest information is a huge bonus. It means it is able to answer questions about the latest information, and for times when AI-generated answers aren’t up to scratch yet, having a ‘Google it’ button so close to hand is useful and efficient.

This means that for now which one you should use depends on how you intend to use it. For generating ideas or suggestions, ChatGPT is more likely to offer useful responses, while Google Bard may well prove more efficient for answering questions

We’d recommend trying both out, and why not, as they are still currently free to access. Play around with both and see which one suits your workflow better.

Perhaps in the future, a more clear winner will emerge but, for now, we’re happy to have this competition, in which each company pushes the other forwards.

Frequently asked questions

Does Google Bard use GPT-3?

No – Google Bard is powered by Google’s own Large Language Model called PaLM-2.

Is Google Bard live?

Yes – Google Bard is not available for those who sign-up to join the waiting list and receive an invitation.