ChatGPT Plus vs. Perplexity: Which Is the Better AI Chatbot? – MUO – MakeUseOf

Do you want convenience or more data?
Most of the credit for the boom in artificial intelligence goes to OpenAI, as it has opened the doors for other companies. Perplexity is based on OpenAI's GPT technology but is trained specifically as a chatbot.
With that in mind, let's pit the two against each other across various categories (like base technology, response quality, and stability) to determine which is better trained to be your virtual chatting/research assistant.
The difference in language models is immediately where things get interesting. ChatGPT's free version gives you access to GPT-3.5, the large language model that most of us are familiar with now. Upgrading to the Plus version gives you access to GPT-4, a more impressive language model than its predecessor.
By default, Perplexity AI doesn't use the GPT-4 language model. It instead uses GPT-3. However, you can get access to GPT-4 with Perplexity if you decide to sign up. If you decide to do so, you can access GPT-4 in Perplexity by using the Copilot mode.
This Copilot mode is powered by GPT-4, but you are limited to five prompts every four hours. ChatGPT Plus has a similar restriction, as you are limited to 25 prompts every three hours.
ChatGPT and Perplexity are conversational AI tools, but they differ in functionality due to a difference in design philosophy. ChatGPT is more of your traditional AI chatbot, but the ChatGPT Plus version takes it further. You can now install and use plugins and access the new web browsing mode.
The browsing mode lets you access the internet within ChatGPT, while plugins can help you solve real-world problems. For example, you can generate Spotify playlists using the PlaylistAI plugin, interact with Gmail using Zapier, or summarize articles with the help of Link Reader.
Perplexity AI is more of a search engine that provides suggestions and sources in response to your queries. It is designed to search the web in real-time to provide up-to-date information on various topics. The new GPT-4 powered Copilot feature is also useful as it can guide your search experience with interactive inputs to tailor personalized responses.
Both of them are useful AI tools for entirely different purposes. Perplexity is a great free tool for conducting research, while ChatGPT can help you summarize that research and make it presentable.
ChatGPT Plus charges $20/month (which may not sound like a lot to many) for its services. On the other hand, Perplexity is available completely free of cost and seems quite aggressive with its business model. Of course, it may try to monetize the service in the future.
You can also use the free version of ChatGPT. It works quite well but doesn't give you access to GPT-4. OpenAI is spending a lot of money on maintaining its chatbot, so they have to monetize it somehow.
Then again, ChatGPT Plus is still well worth the money, especially if you want access to GPT-4 and priority access to new features. There's no clear winner here, as Perplexity is also worth trying out, considering it's free.
To compare the performance in terms of responses, we conducted a series of tests between the two chatbots. We presented the same questions to both language models for a better analysis.
The tests revealed that ChatGPT Plus consistently outperformed Perplexity by providing detailed and clear responses. In addition, it demonstrated a superior ability to provide well-reasoned and elaborative answers.
Perplexity produced responses of decent quality but lacked the level of clarity and detail exhibited by ChatGPT Plus. However, while the answers might not be elaborate, they are accurate. You'll often find that Perplexity is great at finding sources that help you find the right answers.
ChatGPT Plus has a paid version and a massive user base, most of whom access ChatGPT through the web interface. You can try using ChatGPT from your iOS or Android device, and there is now an official ChatGPT iOS app.
Perplexity is also available on the web, but also as an app for iPhone users. This means you can easily access one of the most powerful search engines straight from your pocket. Unfortunately, there's no Android version of the app yet.
Download: Perplexity for iOS (Free)
The Perplexity app also boasts a voice command feature that allows users to send prompts hands-free. While there are ways to control ChatGPT Plus with your voice, there is no official feature that can help you do so.
Perplexity AI is noticeably faster than any other chatbot or AI search engine. The GPT-3 version quickly searches the web and curates a response inspired by different sources. This ability to access real-time information makes it faster than ChatGPT.
However, the default GPT-3.5 model in ChatGPT Plus isn't slow by any means. It's faster than the GPT-4 model and much quicker than the legacy GPT-3.5 model in the free version. Either way, neither chatbot will bother you regarding speed unless you're using GPT-4. The newest LLM is inherently slow right now, regardless of the platform.
Both of these chatbots are also matched in terms of stability. OpenAI gives priority access to Plus subscribers, so you can access the service even during peak usage hours. Perplexity AI has a relatively smaller user base, and stability issues aren't something to worry about.
Microsoft's investment in OpenAI allowed them to incorporate a version of GPT-4 into Bing. Bing Chat is their newest AI-powered chatbot/search engine, which has been highly impressive. You can use it on the web and phone by downloading the Bing AI app.
It works similarly to Perplexity but uses the newer GPT-4 language model. This means Bing Chat is the best of both worlds. It can access information from the internet in real-time, provide sources, and solve complex problems.
Unfortunately, it still feels like a beta version at the moment. Microsoft is being cautious with its approach, and this means that Bing Chat simply won't respond to prompts it considers "controversial." However, it's still worth trying out as it's free.
Both ChatGPT Plus and Perplexity offer unique features and advantages if you want to elevate your writing, coding, or research projects. While ChatGPT Plus is more versatile and outputs better responses, Perplexity is just as useful because it can search the web in real time.
While both are worth trying out, ChatGPT Plus does have a slight edge here because of the support for plugins and other features. You also get access to more prompts with GPT-4, though you can expect Perplexity to improve on that front later down the line.
Hashir is an established tech journalist who covers Mac and iOS at MakeUseOf. He started his writing journey in 2020, and has since then been contributing to top-tier technology publications like MakeTechEasier, PCGuide101, and MacBook Journal. In his free time, Hashir polishes his jabs at the local boxing club, preparing for the robot apocalypse.