Chatbots have led the hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI (GenAI) in 2023. Since the popular release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022, technology companies scrambled to release their own competitors in the space.

As research company GlobalData states, for decades AI has primarily been the territory of university and corporate R&D labs. But rapid progress in machine learning and computing power have made it possible for AI to solve real-life problems.

GlobalData estimates the total AI market will be worth $383.3bn in 2030, implying a 21% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2030.

Verdict takes a look back at the most popular chatbots that made an exciting 2023.

ChatGPT

OpenAI’s GenAI-powered chatbot ChatGPT kicked off a new revolution for chatbots. Four days after its launch on 30 November 2022, the site set the record for the fastest sign up of one million users.

Since its launch, the chatbot has moved from being something users were using to play around with prompts, to something used by 92% of global Fortune 500 companies.

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By GlobalData

ChatGPT has received regular updates to its AI model, most recently with the release of GPT-4 Turbo. 

OpenAI has also made moves to make the chatbot profitable, most notably with the release of ChatGPT Enterprise in August. The subscription model designed exclusively for businesses and corporate users cemented the tool’s impact within industries. 

When Verdict asked ChatGPT to describe itself, it said: “ChatGPT is like a super-smart talking robot developed by OpenAI. It’s part of the GPT family and can chat with you in a natural way. Think of it as a really advanced chatbot that can answer questions, have conversations, and do all sorts of language-related tasks. It’s been trained on tons of internet text, so it’s pretty good at understanding and generating human-like responses.”

Bard

Google’s parent company Alphabet released its AI chatbot Bard on 21 March 2023. The company expanded its reach to Europe and Brazil in September.

The main difference that sets Bard apart from ChatGPT is how it is always connected to the internet, providing users with up-to-date information and suggestions.

The company says users can “collaborate with Bard to brainstorm ideas, spark creativity, and accelerate productivity.”

Bard had a rocky beginning. During the now notorious launch demo, Bard claimed it could be used to “explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.”

When Verdict asked Bard to describe itself, it said: “Bard, in its essence, is a storyteller at heart. But I’m not your fireside yarn-spinner! I’m an AI, crafted by Google, trained on a vast ocean of text and code. My specialty? Weaving language into tapestries of information, creativity, and understanding.”

Grok 

Elon Musk’s AI chatbot Grok, which is strictly integrated into the X social media platform, was released to the public in November. The billionaire’s chatbot is designed to compete with OpenAI, Google and other AI startups with a more “sarcastic” take on the regular AI chatbot. 

Grok, which uses “real-time access to information from X, is extremely sarcastic and sassy. xAI, Elon Musk’s AI startup which developed Grok, claims the chatbot will “answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems”.

According to Musk, Grok is running on LLM AI, similar to other chatbots on this list but with added information from X. The LLM, named Grok-1, is said to have over 33bn parameters. Putting it behind OpenAI’s GPT-4 LLM which uses 1.76tn parameters. 

Verdict was unable to ask Grok to describe itself as the GenAI chatbot is yet to release in Europe.

Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft released its AI chatbot Bing Chat in early February 2023 integrated into its new Bing search engine. The tech giant rebranded the chatbot into a series of AI chatbots under the singular name of Microsoft Copilot during its Ignite event in November.

During the ignite event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “We are the Copilot company. We believe in a future where there will be a Copilot for everyone and everything you do.”

The chatbot is currently rolling out copilots in all of its major applications including Bing, Edge and its office suite. While the primary chatbot is free, having replaced Bing Chat, the cost of the separate Copilots depends on the program of choice. 

Copilot is connected to the internet like Bard, which means it is able to provide real-time information.

When Verdict asked Copilot to describe itself, it said: “Microsoft Copilot is a series of AI companions that can help you with a wide range of tasks, such as coding, writing, generating images, answering general questions, and more. It’s like having a personal assistant that uses AI to make your life easier. In other words, it’s a tool that can help you with your work by providing suggestions and completing tasks for you.”