ChatGPT and Watson Assistant are two popular AI-based chatbots, and both are riding the immense wave of interest in generative AI.
Advanced AI Chatbots – in essence, generative AI platforms – are applications designed to address online chat functions using text or speech. By adding advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to online chat, text and image creation, accuracy and responsiveness are enhanced.
When comparing ChatGPT and Watson Assistant, which is best? Let’s examine the similarities and the differences between these generative AI bots across a range of different criteria.
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ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Quick Comparison
|Chatbot functions/sales support||Fair||Good|
|Conversational AI-based chat||Very good||Good|
|Pricing||$20 a month, plus additional fees for volume used||$140 a month, plus additional fees for volume used|
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ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Feature Comparison
GPT is an abbreviation for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a form of advanced artificial intelligence (AI). Using a neural network, ChatGPT simulates thought using a machine learning model trained based upon a vast trove of data gathered from the internet.
The ChatGPT is a generative AI language model was developed by OpenAI. It was trained on a massive amount of text data from the internet to generate human-like text responses to a given prompt. It answers questions, can converse with users on a variety of topics, and even generate creative writing pieces.
As such, ChatGPT goes far beyond being a chatbot to being able to create documents, and articles, and solve problems. ChatGPT is a far broader offering than Watson.
Watson Assistant is much more focused as an offering. Using artificial intelligence, this AI-chatbot platform developed by IBM enables businesses to build, train, and deploy conversational interactions across web, mobile, messaging platforms, and other channels. It offers personalized customer experiences and is designed specifically for customer service, technical support, and as a virtual assistant.
Watson Assistant, then, is best for those building custom chatbots for businesses. ChatGPT should be looked upon as more of a language-based AI model that can enhance the conversational capabilities of chatbots.
In reality, then, they are not really direct competitors.
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ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Chatbot Functions
ChatGPT is used a lot in chatbot applications to automate customer service, answer FAQs, and engage in conversation with users. It can respond conversationally by tapping into a comprehensive set of online text written by actual people, as well news items, novels, websites, and more.
Watson is a narrower chatbot app that is highly customizable to specific verticals and use cases. IBM provides pre-built components to use in areas such as flight and other reservations and answering FAQs.
As a chatbot, Watson rigorously sticks to what it is programmed to respond to and never strays from that. If it doesn’t know, it will refer to an agent.
Due to this, Watson is a more reliable chatbot application than ChatGPT, though not nearly as capable in a broader sense. IBM has been integrating more conversational AI features into Watson Assistant, but it is far behind ChatGPT in that regard.
ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Marketing and Sales Support
ChatGPT does a good job of analyzing information, evaluating online behavior, and making product recommendations as part of the online sales and upselling process. Automation features extend to appointment scheduling, reservations, payment processing, queries about shipping schedules, order progress, product returns, product and service availability, and more with a high level of accuracy.
Watson Assistant has long years of experience in providing customer service to verticals such as insurance, finance, and healthcare where it is programmed to understand industry-specific language. It also does a good job of tech support.
For specific products and services, Watson harnesses a database all about those tools and services, and ably lowers the call burden on call centers teams while providing users with the information they need. It is also set up to guide customers through a sales funnel, offer product recommendations, and pass on leads to sales.
Watson Assistant wins here, too.
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ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Image Interpretation
It is the image interpretation category that really sets ChatGPT apart. The latest version, known as GPT-4, is a multimodal language AI model that interprets images. As a result, it can build websites based on sketches, and suggest recipes based on a photo of what is in the fridge or sitting on a countertop.
Watson Assistant can’t do any of that. ChatGPT is the clear winner in this category. Expect IBM to add such features in the future, though.
ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Accuracy of Response
ChatGPT can be prone to error, based on assumptions made on data that may not be current. But most of the time it is accurate.
ChatGPT got into hot water with a few strange responses to queries and one or two completely wrong answers. Fortunately, each new version gets better. GPT-4 added a greater degree of accuracy. OpenAI stated that GPT-4 is 82% less likely to respond to requests for content that OpenAI does not allow than its predecessor, and 60% less likely to invent answers. But don’t expect it to be perfect.
Watson Assistant will make even fewer goofs as it addresses a tiny subset of the total data that ChatGPT covers. ChatGPT might do better at attempting to explain the meaning of life, but Watson Assistant is more likely to recommend the right product upgrade or technical support action.
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ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Integration
Watson Assistant can integrate with back-end systems, and a great many CRM, voice assistants, knowledge management, and other enterprise systems. IBM’s long years of experience in the IT community mean that it has the deep relationships needed for far reaching integration.
ChatGPT comes out of the open-source community and lacks the commercial relationships of IBM. As such, it is not nearly as advanced on the integration front. But it can be plugged into them to generate responses via an API. Plugins are becoming available. So far, there plugins are ready for applications such as Kayak, Expedia, OpenTable, Slack and Shopify, with more on the way.
ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Complex Tasks
The greater the complexity of the task, the more ChatGPT comes into its own. It has achieved success with basic computer programming, in drawing up simple lawsuits, in creating elementary computer games, and in passing exams.
In the Biology Olympiad test, for example, ChatGPT scored in the 99th percentile. Further capabilities include an AI Text Classifier, which is a plagiarism checker. It has gotten quite good at distinguishing between AI-written and human-written text, and in the detection of automated misinformation campaigns that take advantage of AI tools.
Users are warned, however, that the general limitations of both AI chatbots include a higher likelihood of inaccuracy with texts below 1,000 characters, and that plagiarism results are better with English than other languages.
Content generation is another of the complex tasks that ChatGPT can accomplish. It can produce text that can use the same style and grammar as an original piece of material, summarize long texts and reports to reflect the primary ideas with some accuracy, highlight key passages within text, and translate into dozens of languages.
Watson Assistant can address complexity within the narrow bounds of product information about a certain number of products for a specific vendor or market niche. It doesn’t stray from those parameters. ChatGPT wins as the complexity of the required tasks are magnified.
ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Security
Watson Assistant, as would be expected due to its use in large enterprises, provides a robust set of security features. It has integrated user authentication and access controls, and offers comprehensive encryption. It complyies with a wide array of standards and regulations.
ChatGPT, however, hasn’t really had much attention on security to date. Developers using it are expected to build in their own security features.
ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Pricing
ChatGPT has a basic version available for free but the main ChatGPT Plus version costs roughly $20/month. Those subscribing gain access to ChatGPT at peak times, faster responses, and priority access to new features and improvements.
On top of the basic subscription, there is a pricing scale per 1,000 tokens (chunks of words). 1,000 tokens comes out to about 750 words of material. Costs range from 3 cents to 6 cents per 1,000 tokens for prompts, and another 6 to 12 cents per thousand once finished. The higher rate provides access to a larger set of contextual data.
Watson Assistant has a lite version available free, which might work for home or mobile users. For $140 a month, you gain phone and SMS integration, and must pay extra for heavy usage beyond a particular threshold.
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ChatGPT vs. Watson Assistant: Bottom Line
ChatGPT uses a transformer-based architecture as part of a neural network that handles sequential data. Although the data it draws from may be a little dated at times, ChatGPT seems to perform respectably in chatbots, and does a very good job on language translation, answering questions, understanding images, and can even determine why a joke is funny. But ChatGPT is not so much a chatbot as an AI-based system that can be incorporated into other chatbot applications.
Watson Assistant, on the other hand, can be regarded as a narrower but more targeted version of ChatGPT that is precisely aimed at the chatbot market. It lacks the contextual understanding that ChatGPT can bring to the table but is a lot more focused and generally better as a chatbot.
Watson Assistant is also not influenced by hate speech or misinformation, unlike ChatGPT at times. And it does better at knowing when it needs to turn things over to a human agent. In addition, Watson Assistant is good at remembering the data it is trained on and thus, in not straying far from what it is supposed to do.
In sum, Watson Assistant is best for purely chatbot actions whereas ChatGPT should be regarded as a more general purpose AI technology that can enhance the chatbot function.
However, the added cost of Watson Assistant means that it is never going to achieve the widespread use that ChatGPT is likely to have. It will remain a niche product used where the economics of customer service and sales make sense. ChatGPT is destined for much broader usage.
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