For over a decade now, AI technology has been slowly developing with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant becoming household names. However, since the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022, AI technology has been on overdrive.
We are especially talking here about generative AI technology, a technology that is trained on massive language models known as Large Language Models (LLMs). These models are responsible for generating human-like natural language with a contextually relevant conversational flow.
Users can interact with chatbots using written prompts. Chatbots can do anything from writing short stories and poems to generating musical notes and writing functional computer code. Of course, ethical concerns regarding the use of these chatbots are always present in the discussion of these tools but I won’t touch on it here.
Suffice it to say here that AI chatbots, like any other technology, have their own benefits and inconveniences. We need to look at them the same way we do calculators, wikipedia, and search engines, that is, as extensions of human creativity.
Chatbots have become an immensely helpful tool for teachers and students alike, as they can help in providing timely answers to their queries, guidance on daily tasks and even provide educational support. They can also be used as writing assistants especially when writing long form content and research papers.
The purpose of this post is to share with you a list of some of the best AI chatbots available today which can provide great value to teachers and students.
How to use AI chatbots in education?
For teachers, AI chatbots can help in automating tasks, such as grading and providing feedback to students. They can also help in creating personalized learning plans for each student and provide guidance on assignments. AI chatbots can also be used to conduct research on different topics, answer student’s questions, and provide relevant educational material.
For students, AI chatbots can help in studying for exams by providing study plans and helping with time management. They can also provide personalized help for each student’s specific needs. AI chatbots can be used to help students with researching topics, finding relevant material and connecting with fellow classmates for group assignments.
Unless you have been hibernating in a remote cave, you must have heard and probably have already used ChatGPT3. This is the chatbot attributed with releasing the AI genie out of the bottle. ChatGPT, by Open AI, went online in November 2022 and took the internet by storm. We in the education sector are still scrambling to grasp how to effectively use it in teaching and learning.
ChatGPT 3 can do some amazing tasks within a fraction of time. It can write cogent essays, perform complex arithmetic calculations, write recipes, provide shopping ideas, write computer code and anything else you want. And before the spell of ChatGPT3 wore off, we were surprised to learn that a more powerful version of ChatGPT, called ChatGPT4, has been released.
ChatGPT 4 is an enhanced version of ChatGPT 3. Besides improving the accuracy of the factual output it provides, ChatGPT 4 has this new feature that allows it to understand images. You can ask it what the image is about and it can spit out detailed information about it. Like OCR powered applications such as Google Lense, ChatGPT 4 can help you identify objects in images and can read text in images such as labels and captions.
Another interesting new enhancement is that ChatGPT 4 can process up to 25000 words at once, which is 8 times more than ChatGPT 3. Also, disallowed content filtering has been improved making ChatGPT 4 82% less likely to return request for disallowed content. However, as of writing these lines, ChatGPT 4 is only available for ChatGPT Plus subscribers.
2. Bing Chat
Microsoft, which invested over $10 billions in Open AI to develop ChatGPT, is now integrating this new technology into its applications and most notably in its search engine Bing.
Note here that Bing Chat is now based on GPT4, the same advanced language model used in the recent ChatGPT 4. Unlike ChatGPT whose knowledge extends only up to 2021, Bing Chat can pull results from recent web content thus providing more timely answers to time-sensitive queries. For instance, I asked ChatGPT about ChatGPT4 and it was not able to provide an answer (see screenshot).
Additionally, Bing Chat seems to cross-reference its answers making it much more accurate than ChatGPT. It offers a ‘Learn more’ button to help you discover more content about your query. While Bing Chat is completely free, it does have a number of limits including a limit of 150 conversations per day, 15 chats per session, and 2000 characters per response or prompt.
Teachers and students can use Bing Chat to search for content related to their subject, ask questions and get reliable answers. Moreover, Bing Chat can provide additional resources through its ‘Learn more’ feature and can help students write better essays by filtering out disallowed content. In short, Bing Chat has all the necessary features to make it a powerful AI chatbot assistant for teachers and students.
In its hurried efforts to join the AI race, Google has recently introduced Bard, a chatbot that that works separately from Google search engine. Right from the start, when you first open Bard you are greeted with a message that reads “I’m Bard, your creative and helpful collaborator. I have limitations and won’t always get it right, but your feedback will help me improve,”.
Bard, like previous chatbots, interacts in a conversational style with your prompts. You can ask it any question and it will return potential responses. However, As the New York Times columnist, Cade Metze noted, Bard is more cautions with its answers. It often declines to answer prompts on topics related to medical, legal, or financial advice lest it provides incorrect information.
As for prompts seeking information about individuals, unlike ChatGPT which answers generously, Bard takes a more conservative and minimal approach. On this issue, Jack Krawczyk (bard’s senior product director), stated that “Google was still cautiously experimenting with presenting information about people”.
Bard is still in beta version and is open to only select few in USA and Britain. It is expected to be released globally soon. Keep an eye out for it for I am sure it will revolutionize the way we interact with internet in unprecedented ways.
4. Jasper Chatbot
The popular AI writing assistant Jasper integrates a powerful chatbot that works similar to ChatGPT. The answers of Jasper chatbot are somewhat shorter than ChatGPT but from my own personal experience are more accurate. It does go off the rails from time to time and provide inaccurate information, but as a rule of thumb, output from chatbots should always be fact checked and verified before using it.
The developers of Jasper chatbot claim that it is capable of leveraging machine learning algorithms to identify and analyze user intent, and thereby generate relevant responses. It can detect user intent in natural language and engage with the users in a conversation by providing contextually appropriate answers. Teachers and students can use the Jasper chatbot to receive assistance in completing their work or seek relevant information quickly.
Jasper chatbot is available as an app as well as a web service. It can be used in classrooms to facilitate student engagement and learning. It can also be used for quick responses to questions on any topic.
Overall, Jasper chatbot is a great addition to the ever-growing list of AI chatbot assistants for teachers and students. Jasper chatbot is not free. You need to purchase a subscription with Jasper to start using it.
I recently learned about Koala through a tech podcast on YouTube. I tried it with several prompts until I used all my free credits. Koala is indeed amazing. It is one of the few AI chatbots that offer references and sources for its data. Built on ChatGPT 3 and 4 technology, Koala is ideal for generating long form written pieces such as essays and blog posts.
Koala’s output is SEO optimized with headings and subheadings, and even images. Koala is also capable of understanding variations in user input and picking up on conversational contexts.