- "ChatGPT is free - why aren't you?"
- "We want a chatbot that is like ChatGPT."
- "What differentiates your platform from ChatGPT?"
Above is a snapshot of questions that our sales team has received over the past few months, and I am not surprised.
When ChatGPT first came into my life (what a blessed day 🙏), I was also a bit confused about how this chatbot could answer anyone and EVERY ONE of my questions.
This is because I am fully aware of the hard work that goes into developing the Ebbot platform and each chatbot solution for our esteemed customers - and suddenly, there is a new chatbot in town that seems to know everything, answers politely, and understands context.
What is even harder to grasp, it is completely F.R.E.E?! *
So it's safe to say I can relate to the questions above...
That is why I today will do my best to break down the key differences between ChatGPT and a paid chatbot platform.
Let's unravel the mystery together! 🔮
Understanding the terminology 🔤
To begin the comparison, I will establish some key terms and definitions.
- OpenAI: The company behind ChatGPT. Founded in 2015 by a group of tech entrepreneurs (including Elon Musk), OpenAI has grown and evolved, attracting top talent in artificial intelligence and making significant advancements in AI technology development and deployment.
- Large Language Models (LLM): A large language model is a sophisticated computer program that can understand and generate text like a human. It's trained on a vast amount of text data, allowing it to generate responses and answers that are coherent and relevant.
- GPT: GPT stands for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer." It's a specific type of LLM developed by OpenAI, which uses a transformer architecture for natural languages processing tasks like text generation, translation, summarization, and more.
- GPT-3.5: GPT-3.5 is a specific version of a large language model and the engine that drives the conversation and language processing capabilities of ChatGPT. OpenAI released a new version, GPT-4, on March 14, 2023. Access to this version is currently limited and available only to paid members.
- ChatGPT: ChatGPT is a specific implementation of the GPT model that is designed for interactive text-based conversations. It allows users to input text prompts and receive responses in a conversational manner, similar to a chatbot.
How can ChatGPT be free? 🤔
The fact that you can use ChatGPT for free is made possible due to a lot (read A LOT💸💸💸) of investments by OpenAI, the AI research and deployment company that created it. By allowing free usage, OpenAI can collect valuable feedback and insights, enabling them to enhance ChatGPT's capabilities and make it even more helpful.
However, it is worth mentioning that OpenAI also offers a paid plan with their ChatGPT Plus membership. ChatGPT Plus is available at a monthly fee of $20, providing an enhanced experience with benefits like access even during peak times, faster response times, and priority access to new features and improvements.
Offering this membership plan helps support the continued availability of free access to ChatGPT for as many users as possible, while also offering added value to ChatGPT Plus subscribers who require more advanced usage.
Of course, there's no guarantee that ChatGPT will continue to be free. The availability and pricing of ChatGPT may change in the future as OpenAI continues to invest in its development, listens to user feedback, and evolves its business strategies.
But for now, we can all celebrate the fact that ChatGPT is free to use (Hooray! 🥳).
Related blog posts:
Everything you need to know about ChatGPT
Differences between ChatGPT & a Paid Chatbot Platform
With the basics covered, let us move on to comparisons. ⚖️
Before we dive into the details, I would like to clarify what I mean by a 'Paid chatbot platform".
When I refer to a paid chatbot platform, I mean a chatbot provider (such as Ebbot) that creates custom chatbots for companies to handle tasks like customer support.
There are plenty of chatbot providers out there, each with their own unique niches, approaches, and pricing plans. However, the commonality among them is that they all require payment in some form.
For this comparison, I'll use the Ebbot platform as an example.
So, let us delve into these distinctions and gain a deeper understanding of how these tools stack up against each other.
#1 Types of data source
One significant difference between training a large language model like ChatGPT and paid chatbot platforms like Ebbot is the data source. ChatGPT needs a lot of data to train on, which can be expensive and time-consuming. As a result, ChatGPT's knowledge is limited to data only up to the end of 2022.
Ebbot, on the other hand, uses constantly updated data, also called evolving data. This means the data of a chatbot created in the Ebbot platform always is up-to-date with the latest developments and provides accurate responses in real-time. This difference in data sources greatly impacts a chatbot's capabilities and accuracy, especially for businesses that need current and relevant information for customer interactions.
#2 Training cost
The cost of training large language models (LLMs) (like ChatGPT) can vary greatly, where Training an LLM to perform well requires significant investment in computing power, costing a lot of money and taking a long time, making it unaffordable for most businesses.
Therefore it is a more practical option for many to train smaller models or fine-tune existing LLMs to specific use cases, such as we do at Ebbot. This enables us to tailor them to be customized for individual customers, providing a more affordable solution.
#3 Probability-based accuracy
Probabilistic text generation may be suitable for editing or inspirational purposes, but it is usually not reliable enough for brands to use in real-time customer interactions. Brands need accurate and consistent answers, not probabilistic responses that may change over time.
In contrast, the Ebbot platform creates answers based on data owned and controlled by the business, providing deterministic responses that aligned with the business' desired outcome.
Simply put, the responses generated by the chatbot will be accurate and aligned with the business' content and policies.
Any actions taken, such as product recommendations or order look-ups, are based on real-time data from the customer obtained through APIs. All interactions are controllable and explainable, making them highly valuable in a business setting.
Furthermore, ChatGPT, or other large language models, does not have access to brand-specific information and is not trained on it. Therefore, it cannot answer brand-specific questions such as policies and product info accurately.
ChatGPT can generate new content, but it cannot take action on your behalf, such as retrieving order information from another system or helping a customer log in to 'my pages' to collect an invoice.
At Ebbot, we take pride in our chatbot's actionability.
Interacting with a chatbot that only provides text without taking action to help the customer can be frustrating. For example, if a customer wants to make a return, a chatbot trained on a FAQ page may provide information about the return policy, but it doesn't actually help the customer make the return.
We have designed our platform to include integrations and components that enable the chatbot to take action and assist customers every step of the way, whether it is helping them make a return or any other task they need assistance with. It is not just about providing answers, but guiding the customer through the entire process, making for a more seamless and helpful experience.
What potential does ChatGPT bring to Ebbot?
While we are very careful with how we use ChatGPT and do not give it too much access to customer data without proper control, there are areas we believe it can be of great use:
- Collecting and analyzing data: ChatGPT can help gather important information from customer inquiries, feedback, and surveys. This data can help you make smart decisions for your business.
- Making handovers smoother: ChatGPT can summarize conversations it has with customers before passing them over to a human agent. This can make the work of your human support agents easier and faster.
- Streamlining the bot budling process: While you cannot (or rather should not) rely solely on ChatGPT for all customer interactions, it can be a powerful tool for building your chatbot. It can streamline the process by automatically generating training phrases, bot answers, and other components needed to build a strong bot quickly.
There is no denying that ChatGPT is an impressive tool. However, it's important to understand that comparing ChatGPT to a paid chatbot platform is like comparing apples 🍎 to pears🍐. While both are fruits, they are different in many ways.
While ChatGPT is a powerful language model and a free option for general conversational purposes, it may not offer the same level of customization, accuracy, and support as paid chatbot platforms like Ebbot. Paid chatbot platforms are designed for businesses that require specific functionalities, integration options, and reliable customer interactions. The choice between ChatGPT and a paid chatbot platform ultimately depends on the specific needs and requirements of the business.
If you want to find out more about what we are doing with ChatGPT here at Ebbot, you can check out what we are working on and sign up for early access here.
*If you're looking to do more advanced tasks, like using the API, there are costs involved. These costs depend on the number of tokens processed during API calls. Tokens can be as long as one character or word. The total tokens from both input and output affect the cost and usage limits for the API.