What to look for in an AI chatbot

Before we dive in, let's talk a bit about how ChatGPT works. This will help you understand what's interesting about each AI chatbot and use it to your advantage.

ChatGPT is an app created by OpenAI that lets users interact with its AI models, including, most recently, GPT-4. The app takes the prompts you write and passes them to the AI model. This model runs the prompt through its systems and returns the results back to the app, so you can read them in a conversational chatbot style.

While the app takes care of the features—for example, saving your conversation history—the AI model takes care of the actual interpretation of your input and the calculations to provide an answer. For more context, take a look at our breakdown of ChatGPT vs. GPT.

Many of the apps on this list are also powered by OpenAI's GPT models. But even when that's the case, the app developers can pass additional commands to configure how the model replies, so you may see different results when you try each chatbot, even though they're running on the same engine. (Some apps on this list use non-GPT models, which are proprietary to the company that built the app.)

With that in mind, here's what I was keeping an eye out for as I tested each AI chatbot online:

  • Accuracy and responsiveness: Given that a lot of AI chatbots are using GPT right now, they'll generally give you similar-ish content. But there were some duds. I didn't include any platforms that couldn't generate coherent language, that delivered wildly inaccurate information on a consistent basis, or that couldn't move a conversation forward naturally.
  • Easy access: There shouldn't be any advanced setup or technical requirements to talk to a chatbot, when you can do it quickly (and for free) with ChatGPT.
  • Chat experience: There are lots of ways to interact with AI, but the staple of ChatGPT is interacting with the model through a chat window. With a few exceptions, each app on this list is a conversational AI chatbot (I'll explain any exceptions as I get to them).
  • Extra features: Anything on top of entering your prompt and receiving the output is welcome, from multi-language support to connecting directly to the internet.

Based on my research and experiences interacting with them, here are the best AI chatbots for you to try. Have fun—I know you will.

For further information on the implications of AI on public services and social protection, visit

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