Claude AI vs ChatGPT: Which is Better? | Lifehacker

AI is a fascinating field, one that has seen a ton of advancements in recent years. In fact, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has singlehandedly increased the hype around generative AI to new levels. But the days of ChatGPT being the only viable AI chatbot option are long gone. Now, others are available, including Anthropic’s Claude AI, which has some key differences from the AI chatbot most people are familiar with. The question is this: Can Anthropic’s version of ChatGPT stand up to the original?

What is Anthropic AI?

Anthropic is an AI startup co-founded by ex-OpenAI members. It’s especially notable because the company has a much stricter set of ethics surrounding its AI than OpenAI currently does. The company includes the Amodei siblings, Daniela and Dario, who were instrumental in creating GPT-3.

The Amodei siblings, as well as others, left OpenAI and founded Anthropic to create an alternative to ChatGPT that addressed their AI safety concerns better. One way that Anthropic has differentiated itself from OpenAI is by training its AI to align with a “document of constitutional AI principles,” like opposition to inhumane treatment, as well as support of freedom and privacy.

What is Claude AI?

Claude AI, or the latest version of the model, Claude 3, is Anthropic’s version of ChatGPT. Like ChatGPT, Claude 3 is an AI chatbot with a special large language model (LLM) running behind it. However, it is designed by a different company, and thus offers some differences than OpenAI’s current GPT model. It’s probably the strongest competitor out of the various ChatGPT alternatives that have popped up, and Anthropic continues to update it with a ton of new features and limitations.

Anthropic technically offers four versions of Claude, including Claude 1, Claude 2, Claude-Instant, and the latest update, Claude 3. While each is similar in nature, the language models all offer some subtle differences in capability.

Can Claude do the same things as ChatGPT?

If you have any experience using ChatGPT, you’re already well on your way to using Claude, too. The system uses a simple chat box, in which you can post queries to get responses from the system. It’s as simple as it gets, and you can even copy the responses Claude offers, retry your question, or ask it to provide additional feedback. It’s very similar to ChatGPT.

While Claude can do a lot of the same things that ChatGPT can, there are some limitations. Where ChatGPT now has internet access, Claude is only trained on the information that the developers at Anthropic have provided it with, which is limited to August 2023, according to the latest notes from Anthropic. As such, it cannot look beyond that scope.

Claude also cannot interpret or create images, something that you can now do in ChatGPT thanks to the introduction of DALL-E 3. The company does offer similar things to ChatGPT, including a cheaper and faster processing option—Claude-Instant—that is more premium than Claude 3. The previous update, Claude-2, is considered on-par with ChatGPT’s GPT-4 model. Claude 3, on the other hand, has actually outperformed GPT-4 in a number of areas.

Of course, all of that pales in comparison to what OpenAI has made possible with the newly released GPT-4o. While all of its newest ground-breaking features haven’t released just yet, OpenAI has really upped the ante, bringing full multimodal support to the AI chatbot. Now, ChatGPT will be able to respond directly to questions, you’ll be able to interrupt its answers when using voice mode, and you can even capture both live video and your device’s display and share them directly with the chatbot to get real-time responses.

How much does Claude cost?

Claude AI is actually free to try, though that freedom comes with some limitations, like how many questions you can ask and how much data the chatbot can process. There is a premium subscription, called Claude Pro, which will grant you additional data for just $20 a month.

Unlike ChatGPT’s premium subscription, using the free version of Claude actually gives you access to Claude’s latest model, though you miss out on the added data tokens and higher priority that a subscription offers.

How does Claude’s free version compare to ChatGPT’s?

Like ChatGPT, Claude offers a free version. Both are solid options to try out the AI chatbots, but if you plan to use them extensively, it’s definitely worth looking at the more premium subscription plans that they offer.

While Claude gives you access to its more advanced Claude 3 in the free version, it does come with severe limits. You can’t process PDFs larger than 10 megabytes, for instance, and its usage limits can vary depending on the current load. Anthropic hasn’t shared an exact limit or even a range that you can expect, but CNBC estimates it’s about five summaries every four hours. At the end of the day, it depends on how many people are using the system when you are. The nice thing about Claude 3 is that it brings in a ton of new features you can try out in Claude’s free version, including multilingual capabilities, vision and image processing, as well as easier to steer prompting.

ChatGPT used to limit free users to GPT-3.5, locking them to the older and thus less reliable model. That, however, has changed with the release of GPT-4o, which introduces limited usage rates for free ChatGPT accounts. OpenAI hasn’t shared specifics on how limited GPT-4o is with the free version, but it does give you access to all the improvements the system offers, until you eventually run out of usage and get bumped back down to GPT-3.5.

Still, that does mean you can technically use GPT-4o without paying a single cent. However, there are some limitations in place if the service is extremely busy, and you may see your requests taking much longer or even returned if usage is high. It’s also possible that your free ChatGPT account may not even be available during certain times of high activity, as OpenAI sometimes limits access to free accounts to help mitigate high server usage.

It’s also important to note that ChatGPT 3.5 is more likely to hallucinate than GPT-4 and the newer GPT-4o does, so it’s important to double-check all the information that it provides. (That said, you should always double-check important information generated by AI.) The free version of ChatGPT also now has access to the GPT Store: Here, you can make use of various GPTs, which personalize the chatbot to respond to your questions and queries in different ways. Claude doesn’t currently offer any kind of system like this, so you’ll have to word your prompts correctly to get the most out of it.

Claude Pro vs. ChatGPT Plus: How much is a subscription?

If you’re planning to use Claude or ChatGPT extensively, it might be worth upgrading to one of the currently available monthly plans. Both Anthropic and OpenAI offer subscription plans, so how do you decide which one to purchase? Here’s how they stack up against each other.

Claude Pro costs $20 a month. Unlike ChatGPT Plus (which gives you access to OpenAI’s GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo model), Claude already offers its latest and greatest model in the free and limited plan. As such, subscribing for $20 a month will simply reward you with at least five times the usage of the free service, making it easier to send longer messages and have longer conversations before the context tokens on the AI run out (context tokens determine how much information the AI can understand when it responds), as well as increasing the length of files that you can attach. Claude Pro will also get you faster response times and higher availability and priority when demand is high.

On the other hand, ChatGPT Plus seems to offer a bit more for that $20 subscription, as it nets you GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo, OpenAI’s most complex and successful language models. These models are capable of far more than the free systems available in ChatGPT without a subscription. Subscribing to ChatGPT Plus will also get you faster response times, priority access when demand for the chatbot is high, and access to the newest features, such as DALL-E 3’s image creation option.

Is Claude AI more accurate than ChatGPT?

Accuracy is an area that AI language models, such as those that run Claude and ChatGPT, still struggle with. While these models can be accurate and are trained on terabytes of data, they have been known to “hallucinate” and create their own facts and data.

My own experience has shown that Claude tends to be more factually accurate when summarizing things than ChatGPT, but that’s based on a very small subset of data. And Claude’s data is extremely outdated if you’re looking to discuss recent happenings. It also doesn’t have open access to the internet, so you’re more limited in the possible ways that it can hallucinate or pull from bad sources, which is a blessing and a curse, as it locks you out of the good sources, too.

No matter which service you go with, they’re both going to have problems, and you’ll want to double-check any information that ChatGPT or Claude provides you with to ensure it isn’t plagiarized from something else—or just entirely made up.

Is Claude better than ChatGPT?

There are some places where Claude is better than ChatGPT, though Claude 3 reportedly outperforms ChatGPT’s latest models based on Anthropic’s data. The biggest difference, for starters, is that Claude offers a much safer approach to the use of AI, with more restrictions placed upon its language models that ChatGPT just doesn’t offer. This includes more restrictive ethics, though ChatGPT has continued to evolve how it approaches the ethics of AI as a whole.

Claude also offers longer context token limits than ChatGPT currently does. Tokens are broken-down pieces of text the AI can understand (OpenAI says one token is roughly four characters of text.) Claude offers 200,000 tokens for Claude 3, while GPT-4 tops out at 32,000 in some plans, which may be useful for those who want to have longer conversations before they have to worry about the AI model losing track of what they are talking about. This increased size in context tokens means that Claude is much better at analyzing large files, which is something to keep in mind if you plan to use it for that sort of thing.

However, there are also several areas that ChatGPT comes ahead. Access to the internet is a big one: Having open access to the internet means ChatGPT is always up-to-date on the latest information on the web. It also means the bot is susceptible to more false information, though, so there’s definitely a trade-off. With the introduction of GPT-4o’s upcoming features like voice mode, ChatGPT will be able to respond to your queries in real-time: If Claude has plans for a similar feature set, it hasn’t entertained it publicly just yet.

OpenAI has also made it easy to create your own custom GPTs using its API and language models, something that, as I noted above, Claude doesn’t support just yet. In addition. ChatGPT gives you in-chat image creation thanks to DALL-E 3, which is actually impressive for AI image generation.

Ultimately, Claude and ChatGPT are both great AI chatbots that offer a ton of usability for those looking to dip their toes in the AI game. If you want the latest, cutting-edge, though, the trophy currently goes to ChatGPT, as the things you’re able to do with GPT-4o open entirely new doors that Claude isn’t trying to open just yet.