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The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other noteworthy alternatives

ChatGPT is only one of the many increasingly popular chatbots. Our picks for the best AI chatbots and writers can lighten your workload by writing emails and essays.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor on
Reviewed by Christina Darby

Whether unlocking your phone through face recognition or telling Alexa to play a song, artificial intelligence has filtered into our everyday lives. Now, you can harness the power of AI to do your writing, too. At your command, AI chatbots can write that paper you have been dreading to start, write code, compose emails, generate art or even write Excel formulas for you

ChatGPT has made quite a splash, motivating competitors to make their own versions. As a result, there are a variety of capable AI chatbots to choose from that can accomplish different things, giving you more options to find one that meets your needs. 

Also: These are my 5 favorite AI tools for work

I put together a list of the best AI chatbots and AI writers on the market and detailed everything you need to know before choosing your next writing assistant. Thanks to its sourcing abilities, internet access, and advanced LLM model, the new Bing is my first choice. See how its features compare to others like ChatGPT, YouChat, and more. 

Pros & Cons
  • Access to the internet
  • Links back to sources
  • Uses OpenAI's most advanced LLM
  • Open preview
  • Query cap
More Details

Bing ChatGPT features: OpenAI's most advanced LLM, GPT-4 | Has access to the internet | Works like a search engine with information on current events | Free

In early February, Microsoft unveiled a new AI-improved Bing, which runs on GPT-4, the newest version of OpenAI's language model systems which is more capable and reliable. On May 4, Bing's chatbot moved from limited preview to open preview, meaning that everyone can access it for free.  

Also: I tried Bing's AI chatbot, and it solved my biggest problems with ChatGPT

From testing the chatbot, ZDNET found that it solved two major issues with ChatGPT, including having access to current events and linking back to the sources it retrieved its answer from.

Although Microsoft announced at its Microsoft Build event that Bing will now power ChatGPT, giving it access to the web and citations, right now, only ChatGPT Plus subscribers can access that feature. 

Also7 ways you didn't know you can use Bing Chat and other AI chatbots

Bing Chat is free and easy to use, making it a convenient alternative to ChatGPT Plus's $20-a-month subscription. 

The only way you can access GPT-4 for free is by using Bing Chat. If Bing Chat's access to the entirety of the internet wasn't enough to sway you to get to try it, maybe some of its major updates will. 

Pros & Cons
  • Writing skills
  • STEM knowledge
  • Conversational
  • Not always available
  • Not connected to the internet
More Details

ChatGPT features: Uses OpenAI's GPT-3.5 or GPT-4 (if subscribed) | Can generate text, solve math problems, and code | Offers conversation capabilities | Free to the public right now

Also: How to use ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a conversational AI chatbot by OpenAI that can produce text for you based on any prompt you input, generating emails, essays, poems, raps, grocery lists, letters, and much more.

ChatGPT was released last November and because of its massive success, it became the blueprint for many of chatbots to enter the scene, including Bing Chat. 

AlsoChatGPT vs. Bing Chat: Which AI chatbot should you use?

In addition to writing for you, ChatGPT can chat with you about simple or complex topics such as "What are colors?" or "What is the meaning of life?" ChatGPT is also proficient in STEM and can write and debug code, and even solve complex math equations. The best part is that the service is completely free to the public right now because it is still in its research and feedback-collection phase. 

The big downside is that the chatbot is sometimes at capacity due to its immense popularity. However, ChatGPT Plus gives users general access even during peak times when the free version is at capacity. 

AlsoThis new ChatGPT feature means better responses with less work

Another major perk of ChatGPT Plus is that it gives users access to GPT-4, OpenAI's most advanced language model, access to the internet and citations on answers -- all features Bing Chat has for free. However, the subscription cost for ChatGPT Plus is $20 per month. 

Perplexity AI

The best AI chatbot for prompt ideation

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
  • Links to sources
  • Access to internet
  • simple UI
  • Login required for Copilot
  • some irrelevant suggestions
More Details

Perplexity AI features: OpenAI GPT-3 and GPT-4 | Has access to the internet and current events | Provides prompt suggestions to get chats started | Free

Perplexity AI is a free AI chatbot that is connected to the internet, provides sources, and has a very enjoyable UI. As soon as you visit the site, using the chatbot is straightforward and simple. All you have to do is type your prompt into the ask anything box to get started. 

Because of the extensive prompts it gives users to try, this is a great chatbot for experimenting with and flushing out ideas. For example, underneath the textbox, it has a "Popular Now" section where it includes the most popular prompts and news. All you have to do is click on them to learn more about the topic and chat about it. Additionally, Perplexity provides related topic questions you can click on to keep the conversation going. 

AlsoThese are my 4 favorite AI chatbot apps for Android

If you don't know exactly what you want to ask the chatbot, but know you want to start chatting about something, you can start typing in the prompt box and autofill suggestions will populate underneath, making it easier to come up with an initial prompt. 

Another perk is that there is an app for both iOS and Android, allowing you to also tinker with the chatbot while you're on the go. 

Pros & Cons
  • 50 different writing templates
  • Copyediting features
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Focuses on written text
  • Steep cost
More Details

Jasper features: Uses OpenAI's GPT-3.5 | Summarizes texts and generate paragraphs and product descriptions | Checks for plagiarism and grammar | Starts at $39 per month

Like ChatGPT, Jasper also uses natural language processing to generate human-like responses. Jasper even uses the same language model as ChatGPT, OpenAI's GPT-3, which was created by the AI research company behind ChatGPT.  

With Jasper, you can input a prompt for what you want to be written and it will write it for you, just like ChatGPT would. The major difference with Jasper is that it has an extensive amount of tools to produce better copy. Jasper can check for grammar and plagiarism and write in over 50 different templates including blog posts, Twitter threads, video scripts, and more. 

If you need to generate written copy every day for your business, Jasper is the tool for you. However, at a $39-a-month cost, it is an investment. 

Pros & Cons
  • Readily available
  • Free
  • Source Citing
  • UI lacks aesthetic appeal
  • In beta stage
More Details

YouChat features: Uses OpenAI's GPT-3 | Lists sources for the text it generates | Unlike most other Chatbots, uses Google sources | Free

YouChat also uses OpenAI's GPT-3. With YouChat, you can input a prompt for what you want to be written and it will write it for you, just like ChatGPT would for free. The chatbot outputs an answer to anything you input including math, coding, translating, and writing prompts. A huge pro for this chatbot is that, because it lacks popularity, you can hop on at any time and ask away. 

Another major pro is that this chatbot cites sources from Google, which ChatGPT does not because it doesn't have internet access. For example, if you ask YouChat "What is soda?", it will produce a conversational text response and cite sources from Google specifying where it pulled its information from. The chatbot is just as functional, without annoying capacity blocks, and has no cost. 

Pros & Cons
  • Up-to-date
  • Variety of use cases
  • Free trial
  • Subscription cost
  • Can't do math
More Details

Chatsonic features:  Powered by GPT-4 | Supported by Google | Aware of current events, whereas ChatGPT is trained up to 2021 | Extensive feature suite, including voice dictation and image generation | Starts at $13 per month

Chatsonic is a dependable AI chatbot, especially If you need an AI chatbot that is up-to-date on current events. Because Chatsonic is supported by Google, it is aware of current news and can provide you answers and stories that relate to it, which ChatGPT can't do since its database doesn't go past 2021. 

Chatsonic also includes footnotes with links to the sources so you can verify the information it is feeding out to you, another vast contrast from ChatGPT. Another major perk is that Chatsonic is powered by GPT-4, OpenAI's latest and most advanced model. 

Other cool features include voice dictation, which lets you speak prompts as you would with Alexa, and AI image generation. If you want to try it, you get a convenient free trial for 2,500 words with no credit card required. The monthly cost starts at $13 per month but goes all the way up to $1749 per month depending on the number of words needed.

Google Bard

Best AI chatbot for writing assistance

Google Bard
Getty Images/NurPhoto
Pros & Cons
  • Free
  • Access to Google
  • Good text editing skills
  • No sources
  • Can't help much with code
More Details

Google Bard features: Powered by PaLM 2, created by Google | Includes a Google it" feature | Generates clear text quickly | Free

Bard is Google's experimental, conversational, AI chat service. Over a month after it was announced, Google opened up the waitlist for its chatbot on Mar. 21, 2023.

Also: What is Google Bard? Here's everything you need to know

Unlike most of the chatbots on this list, Google does not use a large language model in the GPT series but instead uses a lightweight version of LaMDA, a model made by Google. 

ZDNET got access to the bot and upon testing, it saw that the chatbot's abilities to code and function as a search engine were not the chatbot's forte. However, the chatbot performed well as a text assistant that can edit text and write professional documents, including resumes, cover letters, professional summaries, and more. 

AlsoGoogle Bard is stepping up its AI game with these new features

Another major perk is that Google Bard is free to use, so if you need resume or essay help in a pinch, it can be a good resource. To get access, you have to join a waitlist. You can find step-by-step instructions here

Pros & Cons
  • Free
  • Educational
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn't write text
  • No desktop version
More Details

Socratic features: From Google | Type in any question to generate a response | Includes fun graphics | Supports scanning worksheets to get a specially curated answer | Free

If you want your child to also take advantage of AI to lighten their workload, but still have some limits, Socratic is for you. With Socratic, children can type in any question they may have about what they are learning in school and Socratic will generate a conversational, human-like response with fun unique graphics to help break down the concept. 

Also5 ways ChatGPT can make parenting easier this summer

The app, available on the App Store and the Google App Store, also has a feature that lets your kid scan their worksheet to get a specially curated answer. The app does have some limitations; for example, it will not just write an essay or story when prompted. However, this could be a positive thing because it curbs your child's temptation to get a chatbot, like ChatGPT, to write their essay for them. 

Hugging Face logo on phone
Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Pros & Cons
  • Free
  • Clean UI
  • Cutomizable
  • Intermediate/advanced skills requires
  • Reequired to create an account
More Details

Socratic features: Clean, Chat-GPT inspired interface | entirely customizable | great for developers or AI fanatics | secure alternative | Free

As seen by the list above, plenty of great chatbot options are on the market. However, if you are on the search for a chatbot that serves your use case specifically, you can always build an entirely customizable new one. HuggingChat is an open-source chatbot developed by Hugging Face that can be used as a regular chatbot or customized for your needs.  

AlsoWant to build your own AI chatbot? Say hello to open-source HuggingChat

As ZDNET's David Gewirtz unpacked in his hands-on article, you may not want to depend on HuggingChat as your go-to primary chatbot. However, it is a good interface to build your own chatbot on. As Gewirtz said himself: "If you want something that you control, you can use HuggingChat to build a chatbot where you have visibility into every aspect of its functioning. You can choose to make that chatbot available online to other users and provide transparency to all users."

What is the best AI chatbot?

The best overall AI chatbot is the new Bing due to its exceptional performance, versatility, and free availability. It uses OpenAI's cutting-edge GPT-4 language model, making it highly proficient in various language tasks, including writing, summarization, translation, and conversation. Moreover, it works like a search engine with information on current events.

Another advantage of the new Bing is its availability to the public at no cost. Despite its immense popularity, the new Bing is still in its research and feedback-collection phase, making it an incredible resource for students, writers, and professionals who need a reliable and free AI chatbot. 

Although there are occasional capacity blocks, OpenAI is working on releasing a professional version of ChatGPT that will be quicker and always accessible at a monthly cost.

Best AI chatbot


Language model

Current events capability

Key features

The new Bing


OpenAI's GPT-4 

Up-to-date on current events; has access to the internet

Works like a search engine with information on current events.


Completely free, though there is a $20-a-month Plus premium plan

OpenAI's 3.5 and GPT-4 (via Plus)

Limited current events capability; free version not connected to the internet

Can generate text, solve math problems, and do coding. Offers conversational capabilities.



OpenAI's GPT-3 and GPT-4

Up-to-date on current events

Can provide prompt suggestions based on current events 


Starts at $39/month

OpenAI's GPT-3

Focuses on written text; has copyediting features and plagiarism checker

Can summarize texts and generate paragraphs and product descriptions. Has over 50 different writing templates including blog posts, Twitter threads, and video scripts.



OpenAI's GPT-3

Sources information from Google

Outputs an answer to anything you input including math, coding, translating, and writing prompts. Lists sources for the text it generates.


Starts at $12/month

Supported by Google

Up-to-date on current events

Offers voice dictation, AI image generation, and more.

Google Bard


From Google

Indexes Google for responses

Can provide relevant and useful writing assistance.



From Google

Kid-friendly; can help with homework 

Children can type in any question and Socratic will generate a conversational, human-like response with fun unique graphics.




Can have access to the internet if you'd like it to 

You can build your own chatbot using HuggingChat that suite syour specific needs

Which AI chatbot is right for you?

While the new Bing is my personal favorite, your use case may be hyper-specific or have certain demands. If you need a constant, reliable AI chatbot, other alternatives might be better suited for you. If you just want an AI chatbot that produces clean copy, for example, then Jasper is for you. If you want to play around with an AI chatbot that isn't always at capacity, YouChat might be the best option. 

Also: OpenAI's ChatGPT is scary good at my job, but it can't replace me (yet) 

Lastly, if there is a child in your life, Socratic might be worth checking out. See our breakdown below:

Use this AI chatbot 

If you want… 

The new Bing 

The best AI chatbot overall, an AI chatbot that works like a search engine with up-to-date information on current events, links back to sources, and is free and easy to use.


The blueprint for chatbots, encompassing a wide range of skills beyond writing, including coding, conversation, and math equations, and is available to the public at no cost.


An AI chatbot that is the best choice for experimenting or playing around with an chatbot as it provides suggestions for prompts and is easy to use. 


An AI chatbot that is the best choice for businesses and marketers, with more than 50 different writing templates, copyediting features, and a plagiarism checker, making it an investment worth the monthly cost.


A ChatGPT alternative that is readily available, always accessible, sources information from Google, and lacks cost, making it ideal for those who need a ChatGPT-like experience without annoying capacity blocks.


An AI chatbot that is the best choice for news content creators, with its ability to offer up-to-date news and stories related to current events, and its additional features, including voice dictation, AI image generation, and more.

Google Bard 

An AI chatbot that can give you free, specific writing advice and generate text for essays, resumes, cover letters, and more. 

Socratic by Google 

The best AI chatbot for kids and students, offering educational, fun graphics. It has a unique scanning worksheet feature to generate curated answers, making it a useful tool to help children understand concepts they are learning in school.


An AI chatbot best for someone interested in building or exploring how to build their very own chatbot. 

How did I choose these AI chatbots?

In order to curate the list of best AI chatbots and AI writers, I looked at the capabilities of each individual program including the individual uses each program would excel at. As an AI reporter, I was also sure to test each one myself. Other factors I looked at were reliability, availability, and cost. 

  • Individual use case: AI chatbots have many use cases, often acting as a tool for productivity and easier workflow. I included a variety that can serve as ideation, education, and content creation tools. 
  • Reliability: I kept information accuracy a priority during my testing. 
  • Availability: ChatGPT is popular, but not always available. I selected alternatives that don't have a user limit and are available at all times. 
  • Cost: Many of these AI programs are free, but some require monthly memberships. I included a mix of both, keeping budget-friendliness in mind. 

What is an AI chatbot?

An AI chatbot (also called AI writer) refers to a type of artificial intelligence-powered program that is capable of generating written content from a user's input prompt. AI chatbots are capable of writing anything from a rap song to an essay upon a user's request. The extent of what each chatbot is specifically able to write about depends on its individual capabilities including whether it is connected to a search engine or not. 

How do AI chatbots work?

AI chatbots use language models to train the AI to produce human-like responses. Some are connected to the web and that is how they have up-to-date information, while others depend solely on the information they are trained with. 

How much do AI chatbots cost?

AI chatbot programs vary in cost with some being entirely free and others costing as much as $600 a month. ChatGPT and YouChat are entirely free to use since both are still in their testing phases. Services like ChatSonic can cost up to $650 a month for 2,000,000 words and 15 seats. 

What is the difference between an AI chatbot and an AI writer?

The main difference between an AI chatbot and an AI writer is the type of output they generate and their primary function.

In the past, an AI writer was used specifically to generate written content, such as articles, stories, or poetry, based on a given prompt or input. An AI writer's output is in the form of written text that mimics human-like language and structure. On the other hand, an AI chatbot is designed to conduct real-time conversations with users in text or voice-based interactions. The primary function of an AI chatbot is to answer questions, provide recommendations, or even perform simple tasks, and its output is in the form of text-based conversations.

While the terms AI chatbot and AI writer are now used interchangeably by some, the original distinction was that an AI writer was used for generating written content, while an AI chatbot was used for conversational purposes. However, with the introduction of more advanced AI technology, such as ChatGPT, the line between the two has become increasingly blurred. Some AI chatbots are now capable of generating text-based responses that mimic human-like language and structure, similar to an AI writer.

Are there alternative AI chatbots worth considering?

Yes! Despite the new Bing's immense popularity, there are some major downsides to the AI chatbot, including that it is not always available. If you want to give the world of AI chatbots and AI writers a try, there are plenty of other options to consider. We deep-dived into five alternatives above, and some more below. 


Best alternative for professionals


Rytr is an AI chatbot designed for professionals looking to streamline their writing process. 

View at Rytr
Ink website screenshot

Best alternative for SEO


INK is an AI chatbot that's specifically designed to help content creators optimize their content for search engines.

View at Inkforall

Read more about the best tools for your business and the right tools when building your business!

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