ChatGPT is taking the world by storm – and that's putting it lightly. Over 100 million people are said to have initiated a conversation with the AI chatbot since its release last November, and social media is awash with screenshots of the fascinating interactions people have had with it. Since then, a whole ecosystem of ChatGPT alternatives has emerged.
Why? Well, ChatGPT – which has around 180 million users – is often at full capacity and inaccessible to new users. What's more, Microsoft, which bankrolled ChatGPT creators OpenAI, is already exploring ways to commercialize the technology, such as adding it to the new Microsoft Teams Premium. At this rate, it's unlikely to be free for much longer.
The state of play means businesses exploring how they can use AI to their benefit are already on the hunt for tools that are similar to ChatGPT. We've had a look at the best ChatGPT alternatives currently on the market – and we think Bard is the most capable one out there. Read on to find out more about the platform, as well as eight other options that all bring something different to the table.
Nine Alternatives to ChatGPT
Below, we've listed the top ChatGPT alternatives. They're all quite similar to ChatGPT and are available for use right now. We recently included Google's Bard AI after Google granted us access, and we'll continue to conduct more tests every time a major AI chatbot is released.
ChatGPT struggles to talk accurately about events that happened after 2021, which is one of several downsides to the chatbot. With that in mind, here are all the best ChatGPT alternatives:
- Google's Bard AI – best for human-like responses
- Bing Chat – best search engine + chatbot combo
- Claude 2 – sleekest interface and concise answers
- ChatSonic – best for up-to-date, accurate answers and images
- OpenAI Playground – best for customization and experimentation
- YouChat – another good search engine + chatbot combo
- Perplexity AI – best for citing sources
- Character AI – best for entertaining responses
- Jasper Chat – best for generating content
But it doesn’t stop there. We wanted to make this a comprehensive guide to all the best ChatGPT alternatives on the market – so we’ve also included everything you need to know about:
Price from: Free (for now)
Set Up: Personal Google account required
Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: Human-like responses
After the ChatGPT was launched, it was only a matter of time before Google released its very own ChatGPT alternative – and they’ve named it “Bard”.
The big difference between ChatGPT and Bard is the data they use to generate answers. Bard can extract information straight from the internet, whereas ChatGPT is trained in datasets that end in 2021, which is why Bard answered our question about tech layoffs that took place in 2022 more accurately than ChatGPT.
Another big difference is that Bard provides a number of different drafts for each query, whereas ChatGPT will only reply with a single answer.
Initially, Bard was running on the LamDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) language model and you had to join a waiting list to use it, but has since switched to a more sophisticated language model called PaLM 2.
The first gallery screenshots below are PaLM 2 responses – but we've kept in the older responses generated using LaMDA so you can see how it's progressed. You'll notice that the responses generated using PaLM 2 are longer (we've had to cut a few of them off in our images), include more detail, and often include images:
Overall, Bard with PaLM 2 seemed to consistently expand beyond the remit of the question we asked on multiple occasions.
For example, providing a list of factors behind why there were so many tech layoffs in 2022, despite us only asking for a number – and gave us some prospective benefits of the Activision/Microsoft merger, despite us only asking it to weigh in on whether it'll be successsful.
For comparison, when we took Bard out for a spin several months ago and it was still running LaMDA, this is how it answered our test questions:
2. Bing Chat
Price from: Free
Set Up: Microsoft account required
Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: search engine + chatbot combo
Microsoft launched a new version of Bing with ChatGPT as an integrated technology in February 2023, called “Bing Chat”.
It was only available as a limited preview for some time, but now, as long as you have a Microsoft account, you can use Bing in the Microsoft Edge browser to your heart's content. It's now included as an option on the menu underneath the search bar, along with “Search” and “Images”.
Bing with ChatGPT is the only chatbot on this list that gives you the choice of whether you want your answers to be “more creative”, “more precise” or “more balanced”. Here's how it fared with our questions:
Bing's answers were certainly more concise than the likes of Bard and ChatGPT, but as it's integrated into a search engine, it's also serving a slightly different purpose.
Along with answering queries, Bing Chat provided recommendations for relevant web pages, cited a lot of sources, and gave us a selection of related questions to ask. If you can't use ChatGPT, it's an excellent alternative.
3. Claude 2 (beta)
Price from: Free
Set Up: account creation required
Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: sleek interface + document uploading
Claude 2 is the second commercially available chatbot AI startup Anthropic has released, following their first effort, Claud 1.3, which was released just four months ago. Founded in 2021, Anthropic is backed by a $300 million investment from Google, which now has a 10% stake in the company.
The first thing you'll notice about Claude 2 is the sleek user interface – it's minimalistic and perhaps more aesthetically compelling than the likes of ChatGPT. You're also able to upload documents for Claude 2 to analyze, which Bard can't do yet.
One unique thing about Claude 2 is that it can deal with prompts of up to “up to 100K tokens” (elements of raw text), Anthropic says, “which means that Claude can work over hundreds of pages of technical documentation or even a book. Claude can now also write longer documents – from memos to letters to stories up to a few thousand tokens – all in one go.”
This means Claude 2 can deal with larger inputs than any other commercially available model at the moment. However, inputting sensitive company or personal information into AI chatbots comes with its own risks.
- Price: Free
- Set Up: Account required (email and password)
- Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: Up-to-date, accurate answers and images
ChatSonic is a chatbot created by AI content generation platform WriteSonic, and it's one of the more useful ChatGPT AI alternatives currently available. Best of all, it won’t cost you a cent to use.
ChatSonic is built on top of the same technology that powers ChatGPT, and as you can see from the image below, the interface isn’t a world away from its rival's:
The AI platform will behave as a General AI chatbot if you’d like it to, but there are various personas it can assume, such as a philosopher, astrologer, or stand-up comedian, something which ChatGPT doesn't offer at the moment.
ChatSonic has other advantages over ChatGPT too. For one, it can create AI-generated images, and you'll be able to create 100 per month for free with ChatSonic:
On top of this, ChatSonic is connected to the internet – which means it's able to provide real-time, up-to-date answers, especially concerning events that take place after 2021, of which ChatGPT has very limited knowledge.
5. OpenAI Playground
- Price: Free
- Set Up: OpenAI account required (email & password)
- Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: Customization & experimentation
If you find yourself locked out of ChatGPT and you don’t want to get to grips with a ChatGPT alternative just yet, then use OpenAI's “Playground” tool.
OpenAI playground is very similar to ChatGPT on the surface and is effectively just a more experimental version of the same tool – it's actually been open for public use for longer than its more finely-tuned cousin.
It’s a lot more customizable on the whole – you can even select which language model you’d like it to use before you ask it any questions. OpenAI says that Davinci-003, which we used for the tests below, often answers questions with “higher quality, longer output, and better instruction following.”
As you can see from the image above, the OpenAI Playground user interface isn’t quite as straightforward as ChatGPT’s, so you might find it a little more difficult to use – but that's the price you pay for the extra customization options.
When we've used OpenAI Playground, we've found that generally, it's not as hesitant as ChatGPT when it comes to weighing in on complex, controversial topics, so you may get some interesting and unexpected answers while using it. However, it also, like ChatGPT, struggles with queries relating to events from after 2021.
- Price: Free
- Setup? N/A (immediate usage – sign in send replies)
- A great ChatGPT AI alternative for? Chatbot + search engine combo
YouChat is an AI chatbot and search assistant. It will provide you with similar answers to that of ChatGPT, but will also link you to webpages that relate to whatever query you choose to type in:
One advantage of YouChat is that you don’t even have to make an account, unlike ChatSonic and ChatGPT. Once you get onto the site, you can start using their AI Chatbot immediately. However, you will have to make an account if you want to continue your conversation with YouChat past its answer to your query.
You can certainly have conversations with YouChat, but much like ChatGPT, it’s better for condensing down complex information found on the internet and searching for information in a more efficient, quicker way. But unlike ChatGPT, YouChat will also show you an article written by a human, so it's the best of both worlds if that's your primary use case.
However, we did find YouChat slightly glitchier than ChatGPT and it decided to just not reply to a couple of queries we inputted into its search bar. Bear in mind, however, that it has only been fully operational since December 2022, so as is the case with ChatGPT, it's likely to be further refined and improved.
7. Perplexity AI
- Price from: Free
- Set Up: N/A (immediate usage)
- Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: Citing sources used to generate responses
Perplexity functions quite similarly to a search engine. However, Perplexity will produce an answer that combines information from top web results, rather than just providing you with a list like Google does. It's not quite as big of a project as some of the other AI chatbots on this list, maintained by just a small, 8-person team – but it's still an impressive ChatGPT AI alternative.
One thing that sets Perplexity apart is the way it neatly collates the sources used to create the answers it serves to users, which means you can judge whether they’re legitimate and credible.
You don't have this power with ChatGPT, and in a world crippled by misinformation, it's an excellent feature. ChatSonic also has this feature, but it doesn't cite its sources every time as Perplexity does.
While using Perplexity, it was nice to have a list of related queries listed below every answer. An answer to any of the suggested queries can be generated instantly with a single click.
However, Perplexity did take slightly longer to produce an answer than some of the other entries to this list. Now that could be down to various factors (from site traffic to the tester’s internet connection) – but all the other chatbots on this list produced answers quicker.
8. Character AI
- Price from: Free
- Set Up: N/A (immediate usage)
- Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: Entertaining responses
Character AI does what it says on the tin – it’s an artificial intelligence program that allows users to converse with artificially constructed simulations of famous characters from movies and TV shows, as well as public figures and celebrities.
One neat feature of Character AI is you can build your own character bot very easily. All you have to do is come up with what you want your chatbot to do and set a few parameters – after that, Character AI will leaf through huge troves of literature and written text to ensure the AI bot sounds like you intend it to.
Character AI does have its downsides. When we tested it, we found that some responses weren’t necessarily “out of character”, but weren’t particularly “in character” either – although these Super Mario and Elon Musk simulations certainly were:
Plus, its answers are definitely not as consistently accurate or as useful as the ChatGPT – it’s a bit more of a novelty tool to have a bit of fun with. If you’re just looking for an AI program to entertain you, then there aren’t many better than Character AI.
However, bear in mind that there are some questions marks about what data Character AI saves and whether Character AI is safe.
9. Jasper Chat
- Price from: 5-day free trial, $29/month afterward (Starter plan)
- Set Up: Account required + answers to intro questions
- Best ChatGPT AI alternative for: Content Generation
Jasper Chat is a powerful AI tool that can help advertising and marketing businesses producing online content scale their operations.
It’s effectively an AI content-generating robot that has significantly more business-focused features than the other ChatGPT alternatives on this list. It can write adverts, create captions for social media posts, produce video scripts, and much more.
Jasper Chat will also remember past queries, conversations, and prompts that you type into its interface and factor these into how it responds, which ChatGPT doesn't have the capacity to do. However, it’s similar to ChatGPT in the sense that it struggles with information relating to events that took place post-2021.
Jasper has a $29 per month Starter plan, but if you purchase the $49 per month, however, Jasper Chat will generate 50,000 words, while features in the package include Compose & Command features, as well as a Google docs style editor.
Why You Should Look for a ChatGPT Alternative
ChatGPT is a fantastic resource for individuals and businesses, but as with every type of software, no matter how useful, it has some downsides.
Along with the ChatGPT alternatives featured in this article, Tech.co has also been experimenting with ChatGPT and tracking developments since it came out to see exactly what it’s capable of. During our testing, we’ve identified four major downsides:
- The site is often at capacity. Due to its soaring popularity, sometimes, ChatGPT has so many visitors it becomes inaccessible to users who want to start conversations.
- It has limited knowledge of post-2021 events. ChatGPT is not well-trained to respond to questions about events that happened after 2021. This makes its answers to certain topics unintelligible or useless.
- It is expensive to run and will quickly be monetized. ChatGPT is unlikely to be free forever, at least in its most advanced form – it was revealed recently that it costs “single digit cents per chat” per conversation.
- It has only trained on text datasets. ChatGPT can hold a conversation, but it’s training data rather than human conversations, so it doesn’t “feel” human and doesn’t converse like one.
AI Updates: Copilot, GPT-4, Gemini & More
While this article focuses on ChatGPT alternatives, here's a quick rundown of other AI projects and developments to be aware of.
After the successful launch and uptake of ChatGPT, Micorosft has begun to roll out AI capabilities across a number of its products, including Bing, Microsoft Teams, and Outlook.
Within Microsoft Teams, you can now use Copilot to summarize meeting notes and generate subsequent action points. As Microsoft explains, Copilot ” creates a new knowledge model for every organization — harnessing the massive reservoir of data and insights that lies largely inaccessible and untapped today.”
OpenAI recently released the latest iteration of the artificial intelligence language model that underpins ChatGPT, called GPT-4.
Sam Altman, founder of OpenAI, has called it the most capable model that the company has ever produced. GPT-4 is much better at tests than GPT-3.5, passing a bar exam with a score that fell in the top 10% of test takers, whereas GPT-3.5 came in the bottom 10%.
Preliminary testing also suggests that GPT-4 is better at managing requests for disallowed content, responding to them much less frequently than GPT-3.5.
Chinchilla AI (DeepMind/Alphabet inc.)
DeepMind is a subsidiary of Alphabet inc. in much the same way ChatGPT creator OpenAI is a subsidiary of Microsoft – and it’s making headway in the world of AI with its own language models too.
“Chinchilla” is the name of DeepMind’s most advanced AI-powered language model. The company claims that Chinchilla is faster and more powerful than ChatGPT and Gopher, the latter being another highly capable language model created recently by DeepMind.
Members of the public are currently unable to roadtest products that use the Chinchilla AI language model – and unfortunately, we’re some time away from training a chatbot on it.
Another language model being developed by Google is called Gemini – and recently DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis said that Gemini's algorithm will be much more capable than the GPT family of language models being used to power ChatGPT.
Gemini will, according to reports, be a lot less restrictive than ChatGPT and be able to think more creatively outside of its training data, the company says.
Neeva.ai was touted as an early ChatGPT alternative; an ad-free search engine that incorporated the power of AI into its query-answering mechanism. It cited all of its answers, too, a feature that is yet to be built into some chatbots.
However, the search engine shut down in early June 2023, with co-founder and former Google executive Sridhar Ramaswamy admitting that acquiring new users has been difficult, according to a now-inaccessible blog post on the site.
Websites Like ChatGPT: Other Useful AI Platforms
Here, we’ve put together a short list of some AI tools that aren’t quite websites like ChatGPT, but you'll still find useful in your work or personal life.
QuillBot: a great ChatGPT alternative for paraphrasing
QuillBot is not a straightforward ChatGPT alternative like ChatSonic or Perplexity, but it does specialize in rephrasing blocks of text.
You can customize exactly how much QuillBot will change, and there’s an AI thesaurus included if you want to take a bit more control over the paraphrasing of specific sentences.
Wix ADI: the best ChatGPT alternative for website building
Wix ADI – which stands for “artificial design intelligence” is an AI-powered tool built into Wix's website-building software that can generate a website for you with just a few design prompts and some information about what you're going to use the website for.
One stage of the Wix ADI setup process. Image: Tech.co's testing process
Wix ADI is one of the best AI website builders available, but there are other options out there too. Some AI website builders, such as Hostinger, will generate copy for your web pages and even design a logo for you from scratch, for instance.
Otter.ai: an AI tool for transcribing conversations
Otter is a useful AI tool for transcribing and summarizing meetings and interviews, which can then be reviewed and edited by users.
It’s great for journalists, and there's a mobile app for users who want to record and transcribe on the go.
Google Workspace customers might already be familiar with Otter – since 2021, it has been available as an integration for Google Meet’s 100 million users.
Browse.ai: a system for tracking changes to websites
Browse.ai is a nifty little tool you can download as a browser extension. The tool lets you build “robots” and set them up to complete tasks of your choosing.
You can use Browse.ai for various purposes, such as tracking the price of products listed on specific websites, content aggregation, collecting bulk data on competitors, and even academic research.
Elicit: the best Chatgpt alternative for research
Elicit is an AI tool that will let you enter prompts or queries and search a bank of 175 million research papers for an answer. Alongside the papers, it provides a short abstract summary of what each paper is about, and you can filter the results by whether a PDF version is available.
Should My Business Use ChatGPT or a ChatGPT Alternative?
ChatGPT is already being used by businesses and employees around the world, with innovative new use cases and useful ChatGPT prompts appearing every day. Other AI tools are being used to build resumes and websites. But one cursory glance through social media and you’ll quickly work out that ChatGPT’s responses often fall short of the mark – and some companies have banned employees from using them.
YouChat and Claude, however, are alternatives you should check out if you want a chatbot using real-time information, while OpenAI Playground is a great place to tinker with the ChatGPT's settings if you’re interested in testing the limits of the technology.
If you’re exploring what AI can do for your business, make sure you test out those three to see how they fare against ChatGPT when it comes to complex queries – you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.