Claude 2.1 vs Copilot – which AI chatbot is best for you in 2024?

Anthropic vs Microsoft's AI chatbots compared

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Claude and Copilot are two of the most powerful AI chatbots on earth, but which one comes out on top? In this article, we explore the key similarities as they apply to you, and the differences that set them apart. Let’s compare Claude 2.1 vs Copilot (formerly known as Bing Chat).

Claude 2.1 vs Copilot compared

Claude 2.1 is the current AI model powering Claude, compared to GPT-4 within Copilot.

Anthropic announced Claude 2 on July 11th, 2023, followed by Claude 2.1 on November 21st, 2023. In contrast, Microsoft Copilot has existed in its current form since the rebranding from Bing Chat in November 2023. Furthermore, Anthropic debuted the original version of Claude in March of the same year. Compare this to the February announcement of Copilot’s predecessor, Bing Chat, and you’ll find little difference in the maturity of these two AI platforms.

Both Microsoft’s AI Copilot and Anthropic’s Claude are conversational AI chatbots powered by large language models (LLMs). Even though they have some key differences, the two chatbots share some core similarities. 

Now, let’s look at the similarities and differences between the chatbots.

Key Similarities

Claude 2.1 from Anthropic and Microsoft’s AI Bing Chat are two of the most talked about conversational AI systems right now. At first glance, they seem quite different – Claude 2.1 focuses on safety, while Bing offers wider functionality. Both have a lot in common with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and respond to text prompt inputs from the user.

Ability to understand natural language (NLP)

Thanks to their large language model foundations, Claude 2.1 and Bing Chat can comprehend and respond to natural human language. Both Claude 2.1 and Bing aim to converse with users as naturally as talking to another human.

Unlike rigid chatbots of the past, these AI assistants do not rely on scripted responses. They analyze the context of each query and generate brand-new responses tailored to the specific conversation. This allows for free-flowing dialogue without the user having to strictly adhere to set commands or phrasing.

The scale of Claude 2.1 and Bing’s models allows them to synthesize knowledge from across the internet. They do not just respond based on a closed database. Whenever a user asks a question, both chatbots provide answers by pulling relevant information from the web. This gives them an expansive knowledge capacity on a broad range of topics, from current events to obscure facts. Their advanced models allow the seamless incorporation of online information into the ongoing conversation.

Generating unique and original responses

Unlike scripted chatbots, Claude 2.1 and AI Bing Chat can generate completely new responses tailored to each conversation. This ability is borne of AI models, a completely different kind of technology to a traditional search engine. These huge neural networks allow both chatbots to generate fluent, conversational responses while remembering context and pulling relevant information. This lets users have access to real-time data when publicly available on the internet. While the models themselves differ, the scale of the models gives both Anthropic AI and Bing AI underlying language capabilities far beyond older chatbot technology.

Their models examine the discussion history and context to create relevant, on-topic responses on the fly. They do not pull answers from a fixed database, but gather large amounts of data live from an array of sources on the internet. This enables personalized, organic discussion.

Conversational context

Both Claude 2.1 and Bing Chat are designed for extended, continuous dialogue as opposed to single-turn interactions. Their models track the context throughout a long conversation, an ability enabled by their large neural networks. This allows smooth, coherent dialogue rather than fragmented, isolated exchanges.

However, under the hood, these chatbots share some key similarities in terms of AI technology powering their abilities.

Notable differences

Large Language Models – The foundation of our Claude Bing comparison

Both Claude 2.1 and Bing Chat are built on top of large language models (LLMs). However, Anthropic has built its own proprietary “Constitutional AI”, with the USP of being a safe and responsible option. Bing Chat, on the other hand, is powered by the same GPT technology that OpenAI uses itself.

This GPT technology, specifically the GPT-4 iteration, is available when using Copilot in any browser. Of course, Microsoft does recommend the Microsoft Edge browser. Another way in which they differ is that Copilot would search the web for answers and cite sources by using the Bing search engine, whereas Google Bard would do the same via Google search.

Claude 2.1Copilot
Safe and responsible constitutional AI (CAI)General purpose AI chatbot
Focus on safety and ethicsFocus on capabilities of generative AI
No mobile appApp for iOS and Android
$20/month in the US, but £18/month in the UK$20/month in the US, but £19/month in the UK
Claude 2.1 vs Copilot

Quality of content

Claude 2.1 operates according to a set of principles that aim to provide accuracy, transparency, and safety. This means the AI chatbot will err on the side of avoiding incorrect information. It will admit if it doesn’t know something, and avoids giving harmful or hateful answers. 

By comparison, Microsoft’s Chatbot has been prone to what are known as AI hallucinations. It has also given factual errors, which Microsoft is forthright about, as an unavoidable aspect of AI for any firm. While hallucinations are not unique to any one firm or their AI tools, Claude 2.1 commits to principles like the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Pricing

Claude 2.1 is available via API or from the public-facing website. You can use the free version up to a point. With Claude Pro, subscribers enjoy “5x more usage” of Claude 2.1 for $20/month in the US or £18/month in the UK. For longer responses and more complex tasks, this might be useful.

Microsoft Copilot also has a paid subscription called Copilot Pro, for a very similar £19/month for UK users. All AI chatbots have converged on the same pricing ballpark, with ChatGPT Plus also costing £20/month.

Purpose and strengths

Claude AI is geared towards more complex tasks, such as writing long-form text (blog posts, essays, and so on), generating code, and analyzing text such as novels. It has scored highly on the GRE reading test, math exams, and the choice section of the bar exam. Furthermore, Claude has a more personable, human tone than many other chatbots. Despite its focus on constitutional AI, Claude is “not intended to give professional advice, including legal, financial, and medical advice,” and Anthropic urges that you “do not rely on Claude without doing your own independent research.”

Microsoft’s Bing chatbot, on the other hand, mainly functions as a kind of search tool, providing recommendations and answering questions succinctly.

Claude 2.1 vs Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) – Which is best for you in 2024?

When it comes to conversational AI, Claude 2.1 and Microsoft’s AI Bing Chat are among the most capable systems available today. They are both powered by large language models that enable natural conversations and human-like responses.

Claude 2.1 has an edge when it comes to safety and reliability, while Bing Chat offers a quick, free, and easy way to utilize AI for minor queries. In all, both Claude 2.1 and AI Bing Chat have their individual strengths and weaknesses. So, it all depends on what you seek from an AI chatbot.

The verdict

While differences exist between Claude 2.1 and Bing Chat, their core artificial intelligence has key similarities that empower natural conversation and vast knowledge. The scale of their underlying language models gives both AI assistants unique conversational abilities unmatched by earlier chatbot technology.

Gloria is a tech and AI writer for PC Guide. She is interested in what new technology means for the future of digital and broadcast journalism.