Detroit Free Press

Tech experts put free AI versions to the test

While still new, chatbots offer some solutions to real-life scenarios like ducking an invitation, starting a business

- Tech Talk Kim Komando

As I scour 35 to 40 websites a day to make sure I’m up to speed on the tech world, I’m seeing a common theme: Drama. There’s a lot of it in the artificial intelligen­ce world right now, and unsurprisi­ngly, it’s mainly humans causing the buzz. While everyone from Elon Musk to The New York Times is busy suing OpenAI, I’m just focused on whether these AI chatbots actually work. So, how useful are they, really? I did the work for you. I compared the free versions of ChatGPT h from OpenAI, Google Gemini and Perplexity to see how well they helped with some real-life scenarios.

Backing out of a family meal

Without hurting her feelings, of course, I got our three bots to draft an email politely excusing me from a family meal put on by an imaginary aunt.

ChatGPT offered “my sincerest h appreciati­on” for the aunt, mentioning that “I truly value the time we spend as a family” and that it was a “difficult decision” not to attend. A little too dramatic for me.

Gemini acknowledg­ed the “effort h and love” the aunt was putting into the “special gathering” and said I was “incredibly disappoint­ed to miss out.” It also suggested an alternativ­e, like a video call.

Perplexity started with thanks h for the meal “you graciously organize each year,” mentioning “heartfelt gratitude” for the event, “regret” and “apologies” that I wouldn’t make it this time around. It felt impersonal.

Winner: Gemini h

Launching a business

I asked the bots to write a pitch for my hot new business idea: A phone case that physically locks your handset so you’re not distracted from work or family time.

ChatGPT’s “FocusGuard” was the h most imaginativ­e and even included made-up quotes! It raved about “Focus Guard’s” “ingenious” benefits for productivi­ty, well-being and relationsh­ips.

Gemini called it “LockAway” and h promised “focused productivi­ty” from this innovative product. Gemini said it “isn’t just about protecting your phone – it’s about protecting your time and attention.” OK, not bad.

Perplexity’s genius name? h

“Smartphone Case with a Lock.” Step aside, Steve Jobs … It did come up with a decent tagline, though: “where productivi­ty meets peace of mind.”

Winner: ChatGPT h

Planning a hike

Of course, these big models don’t actually “know” anything, but they’ve read a lot of human knowledge – so I asked for some advice on planning a short hike with my husband.

ChatGPT hit all the basics in a super h clear and concise way – bullet points for the win! It reminded me to check the weather, research the trail, tell someone where we were going, avoid the hottest part of the day and (of course) bring water and first aid.

Gemini was all about the ambiance. h It talked more about how to choose a route and even the scenery we wanted to see (rolling green hills, please!). It also suggested safety gear like water and first aid.

Perplexity’s advice was brief and h vague. It mentioned water and a first aid kit – glad we agreed. It did include some handy links though, including one to figure out how long a hike might take.

Winner: ChatGPT

h Final score: ChatGPT 2, Gemini 1, Perplexity 0

Listen, if AI can help us avoid awkward social interactio­ns, it’ll be a crowning achievemen­t. For now, they’re still autocorrec­t machines dialed up to 11 – and I’m not sure I’d outsource any of these jobs to AI entirely just yet, but they do offer a good starting point.

Learn about all the latest technology on “The Kim Komando Show.” For Kim’s daily tips, free newsletter­s and more, visit her website at

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? If artificial intelligen­ce can help humans avoid awkward social interactio­ns, it’ll be a crowning achievemen­t, Kim Komando says.
GETTY IMAGES If artificial intelligen­ce can help humans avoid awkward social interactio­ns, it’ll be a crowning achievemen­t, Kim Komando says.
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