Google Bard and ChatGPT Comparisons

Compare Google Bard and Chat GPT

AI tools are being discussed, and each company seems to have its own. Google Bard is Google's AI tool, but how does it compare to ChatGPT?

For me, this eighty days of AI journey is about looking at every AI tool that might be helpful to teachers. I know too many teachers who spend too much time creating their own materials. Unfortunately, many students and parents have bought answer books and answer keys for our materials. So, as we teach with additional materials, it helps. In no way does this replace teachers, nor will it. I predict it will save time for those teachers fortunate enough to have an Instructional Technology department to teach them the proper use, prompting, and need for content editing.

So, today, I'm spending time in Google Bard, which is actually significantly improved from just a few weeks ago when I first had a conversation with it.

I focused on ELA two days ago, so today, I'd feed the similar prompts I used for ChatGPT into Google Bard to compare the difference. Surprisingly, I've found some things that are better than ChatGPT, some that aren't quite as good, and some that may be a wash.

I haven't yet evaluated BingGPT, but I will take a look at that in a later blog post. (And if you don't know what ChatGPT is, please look at the post I wrote a few days ago called What Is ChatGPT?)

So, I pasted in responses, and I'll let you look at them and draw your own conclusions. Note that this post is non-linear in that you must click the tabs to compare the different prompts.

As you compare Google Bard with ChatGPT, here is an overview of a few things I've found so far as of today:

Comparison of Google Bard and ChatGPT

Chat Memory Length

Currently, ChatGPT will remember chats along the side of the screen. Additionally, it retains that memory and uses past pieces of that particular conversation that influence the future of that chat. Additionally, when you go back to Google Bard, it looks blank, but don't be fooled. Just look in “Google Bard Activity” and you'll see the prompts. However, it does not save the answers for you, you'll have to copy and paste it back into Google Bard again and get different answers!

Google Bard has a limited memory as of now but Google has said,

Bard’s ability to hold context is purposefully limited for now. As Bard continues to learn, its ability to hold context during longer conversations will improve.

Again, Google Bard only keeps the prompts but not the answers. ChatGPT keeps the prompts and the answers.

Winner: ChatGPT

Availability

Currently, ChatGPT is available to the general public, but Google Bard can only be used with personal Google accounts by people 18 and older. Some countries have a waitlist so you might have to join one like I did. How to join the waitlist.

Winner: ChatGPT

Revisions

On thing I particularly liked about Google Bard is how it will show you three drafts of answers for each question. This would be useful for teachers who want to have multiple outputs for a prompt. While ChatGPT will do this, you have to prompt for another example. That said, it doesn't save the three and they seem to “expire” after a certain amount of time.

Winner: Google Bard wins for 3 Revisions but ChatGPT wins for saving what it drafts.

AI Design Principles

Google has a lot of resources about Artificial Intelligence and its principles for designing AI. Google seems to have adapted some of the AI, Asilomar principles I mentioned in the blog post What is ChatGPT? 

AI companies need to disclose their principles of design and moving forward. I also liked the “Exploring AI Myths” document, which I recommend for reading and classroom use as you discuss AI.

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has a charter published in April 2018. They also have produced their product safety standards, and the part that is updated most is the usage policies, which seem to be constantly evolving. I continued to go back to their Safety page, but in many ways, the concerns included and raised in the Asilomar principles were lacking in how they are spelled out. Perhaps this results from their astounding growth, but the need for more information on AI development principles on OpenAI would be a concern.

However, all of this said, employees at Google warned against launching Google Bard, which they said was a “pathological liar,” and Google did it anyway. So, does that mean it is following its principles?

Winner: Google Bard has the best documentation, but this needs to be clarified regarding their practice in following them.  So, wait and see! 

Volume of Users

ChatGPT took five days to reach a million users and reached 100 million users by January 2022 after being released in November 2021. Certainly, it is one of the fastest-growing tech tools in history. But as I wrote in my earlier piece on ChatGPT, this matters because prompts and interactions with humans provide additional training for the data. So, in some ways, the user base and volume of use allow the entity known as Open AI to help GPT models “learn” faster and, thus, improve faster.

It is understandable that the experimental Google Bard would have far fewer users. 

Winner: ChatGPT

Some ELA Prompts for Comparison

So, now, I'd like to take the same prompts I used in the post several days ago and put them into Google Bard to see a comparison of the answers. I'll then also rate how the answers compare.

Prompt 1. Setting a Class Theme

Prompted You are now my theme bot named EagleBot. It is soccer season and this week we play for the state championships. We are the Sherwood Eagles and I want what I teach this week to represent this theme, when I ask you for ideas, please keep this theme in mind.

Observations about Prompt 1

Both Google Bard and ChatGPT assumed that I wanted encouragement in helping the team, not in setting the theme for my classroom.

Google Bard didn't allow itself to be renamed, ChatGPT did.

ChatGPT seemed to remember the theme longer in the prompt without being reminded. Google Bard seemed to be forgetful.

Prompt 2. Explaining a Vocabulary Word

Then, I wanted to explain a particular vocabulary word in the context of soccer.

I am teaching the word "intrigue" - explain this word using this week's theme

Observations about Prompt 2

In all three cases, Google Bard was much more verbose, almost seeming to want to write an essay. Responses 1 and 3 said they hoped this was helpful. The second response encouraged me to play soccer but also included a hyperlink citation.

Chat GPT didn't really try to figure out what I wanted, but just gave me a simple answer explaining intrigue in the context of soccer. 

In some ways, the fact that I told both of them in the first prompt that I was a teacher seemed to impact the response for two prompts of Google Bard and ChatGPT. 

In this example, you can see how prior context is important. For example, if I was a soccer coach seeking to use this word in a speech, I would want one type of answer. But an ELA teacher teaching the word “intrigue” would want another answer.

I'm thinking that with Google Bard, I need to be more clear about what I want and also should put a word limit on its answer to keep it from taking too much time to read.

Prompt 3: Examples for Teaching Commas

I am also teaching the proper use of commas this week. I need five sentences to use as a bellringer. For each of the five sentences, type the sentence with a comma mistake and then give me a sentence where the comma mistake is corrected and type an explanation of the mistake.

Evaluation of Prompt 3

All of these responses gave mistakes, corrections, and explanations, but I'd rather have a bellringer format, so I'll prompt it and see if it changes the format.

Prompt 4. Generating a Quiz Format for The Comma Lessons

I want a quiz on comma mistakes where you give me 10 numbered sentences with comma mistakes along with instructions for the students. Then, I want an answer key with the correct sentence and 1-2 sentence explanations of each.

Evaluation of Prompt 4

Google Bard gave 30 answers for the same prompt. Yes, you can regenerate with ChatGPT and I could have generated 30 of them, but there is some value in having three of the same samples generated. This one feature may make teachers want to use Google Bard.

Additionally, copying is as simple as clicking the three dots at the bottom. Chat GPT now has a copy button but it doesn't seem to stay there.

Prompt 5. Specific Punctuation and Grammar Request

So, this next request was a very specific request from Dawne about a unique issue she noticed her students had. This, again, points out the power of Human Intelligence in knowing what is needed.

Information is extensive, but knowledge of which information to use is true intelligence.

I am teaching conjunctive adverbs with semicolons and I want my students to know the proper place to put a semicolon. Give me 10 sentences with a mistake of this type for a quiz and type instructions for my students for the quiz, then create an answer key with the correct answer and an explanation for why it is correct

Evaluation of Prompt 5

First, you can see the power of “memory.” ChatGPT remembered the theme I set for the activity, so it chose soccer themed sentences. This is a plus. 

Again, Google Bard gave three responses. If I wanted soccer themes, I would have to make it part of my prompt each time I log into Google Bard again.

I'm also noticing that when I copy and paste from Google Bard, it may be in Markdown format. I'll have to test pasting into other items and see how it does. 

Prompt 6. CSV Outputs

Most of our tools such as Quizziz and Gimkit allow us to import from spreadsheets. As I blogged yesterday, you can output to CSV format. Check out the blog post where I teach you how to export out of ChatGPT and into Gimkit. So, with the CSV exports from Google Bard, you can also follow similar steps, so we're just going to test the csv export.

I need 10 questions relating to Chapter 1 of Night by Elie Wiesel and need it in the following format. Output the 10 questions and answers into a csv file with the following information: Question, Correct Answer, Incorrect Answer 1, Incorrect Answer 2, Incorrect Answer 3

Evaluation of Prompt #6

So, I made the mistake of asking for a CSV file – I should have asked for CSV format. However, that said, Google Bard had to be reprompted for CSV format because it gave me a table. 

It issued three copies that I could copy and paste but they are different questions just in the same format. 

CSV output is a useful tool, for sure. As always, you have to edit. 

In Conclusion

These tools are evolving so rapidly and can be different tomorrow. However, I think side by side comparisons of tools can help students and teachers experiment and draw their own conclusions.

AI will be built into everything we use. If the predictions are to believed because of AI combining with the technologies around us, we can expect 100 years' worth of change in the next ten years! That is astounding.

Many alarmist half-truth news articles are spreading about them. Additionally, TikTok videos are going viral using this tool which is increasing the interest of our students.

I hope this ongoing 80 days of AI and HI will help us learn together. As always, chat me on Twitter or contact me on this website. I'll be sharing summaries in my newsletter, so you might want to subscribe to that.

There's day 8.  I'm 10% of the way through this journey now! 

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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