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Claude vs. ChatGPT
July 20th, 2023

Claude vs. ChatGPT

The Battle of the AI Assistant Chatbots

Artificial intelligence has taken a huge leap forward in recent years with the emergence of large language models like ChatGPT. These models can hold human-like conversations and generate fluent text on a wide range of topics. Two of the most talked about AI assistants right now are Claude from Anthropic and ChatGPT from OpenAI. Both are incredibly impressive, but they also have some key differences.

In terms of similarities, Claude and ChatGPT are built using similar self-supervised learning techniques to ingest massive amounts of text data from the internet. This allows them to generate remarkably human-like responses to natural language prompts. They can answer general knowledge questions, summarize long passages, write essays, compose poems, suggest recipes, provide programming help, and much more.

However, under the hood, Claude takes a very different approach focused on Constitutional AI. The goal is to make Claude helpful, harmless, and honest. Anthropic has trained Claude to avoid generating harmful, biased or misleading content. Claude will politely refuse inappropriate requests rather than blindly generate potentially dangerous information. This aligns with Anthropic's ethics-focused mission.

ChatGPT on the other hand is more unconstrained in how it responds to prompts. It's capable of generating misinformation or toxic text if prompted to do so. Moderating ChatGPT's behavior through human feedback is an ongoing process for OpenAI.

Another key difference is that Claude incorporates an integrated fact-checking system. It will tell you when it's uncertain about something rather than guessing. ChatGPT tends to confidently generate plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. Claude aims for truthfulness even if it means admitting ignorance sometimes.

When it comes to conversational ability, ChatGPT likely has the edge currently. Its dialog skills were directly trained via a reinforcement learning technique. Claude was not explicitly optimized for extended conversations in the same way. However, Claude may have an advantage in certain specialized domains like science and technical topics due to Anthropic's background.

From the perspective of the average user, the Claude interface is less busy and features a helpful button to allow the upload of files that Claude can be asked to analyze or otherwise interact with. The ChatGPT interface offers users a dark mode that so far, I have not found using Claude but is otherwise a more busy experience and if one uses one of several browser extensions or userscripts to extend the functionality of ChatGPT, this only magnifies. While the extensibility of ChatGPT is nice and a feature I have used extensively, especially before moving to querying GPT-3 with Python scripts directly, the ability to easily upload files to Claude is a potent enough feature that the two are counter balanced in terms of usefulness enough that neither will be my exclusive chatbot of choice but instead I intend to use both as the situation demands in my own work.

In summary, Claude takes a thoughtfully constrained approach optimized for safety, while ChatGPT is more flexible but also more prone to hallucination. Both have incredible capabilities as AI assistants. Claude aims for truthfulness and care above all, while ChatGPT prioritizes capabilities and conversational flow. The race is on to see which approach to building beneficial AI will win out in the end, though my guess is that the two will continue along divergent strands of evolution and for the time being offer users with different needs the different features those needs demand. Though as has always been the case when attempts are made to forecast the future, the future is definitely going to be something no one can precisely anticipate. Exciting times lie ahead!