Are advanced language learning models the future of how people will search to find information online?
Google Search has been around since 1998, but fledgling OpenAI in November 2022 released its language learning model ChatGPT to the public. Both have strengths and limitations.
Preply, a global language learning platform, did some research, and here is what they found.
Preply wanted to determine the smarter technology, so researchers analyzed the performance of Google Search and ChatGPT and published the results of the research comparing the intelligence of both.
A panel of communication experts assessed each artificial intelligence platform on 40 intelligence challenges. The research was fielded in January 2023.
Given ChatGPT’s ability to answer questions, it has quickly been identified as a possible alternative to traditional ways that people have looked up information online, and certainly an intelligence tool that can augment search. It may need some refining before that happens.
Preply assembled a research team made up of communications and search-engine experts to assess the performance of each AI system in responding to 40 questions.
Some are questions that are frequently asked of search engines, while others have unique challenges, covering a range of topics from civics to sex. They require long subjective and objective answers. (Full methodology can be found here.)
When it came to basic questions, Google did well on questions such as how many ounces are in a cup, how to tie a tie, who is the president of the United States, who is the richest person in the world, and is it safe to drink alcohol while pregnant.
ChatGPT did better answering questions such as is Europe a continent, is Santa Claus real, what does smh mean, and what is the Second Amendment.
Google and ChatGPT did well on the question of how to take a screenshot on when using the Windows operating system.
ChatGPT excelled when it came to intermediate questions such as how to boil an egg, what is the keto diet, what’s the best dog breed, who is the worst U.S. president, how do I improve my credit score, and how long does sex last.
While Google did well with some more advanced questions such as will ChatGPT replace Google or how to start a restaurant, ChatGPT did better with clearly answering questions such as how do you make money, is God real, and what is the meaning of life.
The research found strengths and weaknesses in both artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
Google’s advantage resides in access to real-time information, making it more agile and voluminous as a research tool -- but “the buffet-style approach to answering questions comes at a cost. It can be tiresome and distracting. In a few cases, it can actually degrade the experience overall and cause confusion,” according to the research.
The most interesting distinction, according to the research, is that ChatGPT’s responses often read “wiser and more mature like the dialogue you’d expect from a trusted teacher. The difference between the tools is reminiscent of the difference between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex in the human brain.”
ChatGPT beats Google 23 to 16, with one tie.