We Tried Claude AI So You Don't Have To

April 16, 2024
Article by:
Connon Daly

In the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, a new contender has emerged. Developed by Anthropic, Claude AI arrived in 2023 and began gaining significant attention in early 2024.

Dubbed a “helpful, harmless, and honest” chatbot, Claude comes equipped with a built-in ethical constitution, promising more consistency and functionality than its counterparts like ChatGPT.

The IT team has been experimenting with various AI models since early 2023, leveraging tools like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot for diverse tasks ranging from content creation to complex coding queries. Given our reliance on these technologies, we decided to put Claude AI to the test, mainly comparing it with ChatGPT to see if it could meet or exceed our current standards.

First Impressions

Claude claims to stand out from ChatGPT in several key areas. It boasts a larger word processing capacity and has outperformed ChatGPT on standardised AI exams. Importantly, it does not retain any user data and emphasises a strong commitment to user safety. During our preliminary tests, which involved routine tasks, Claude performed reliably well. However, it was difficult to definitively declare it superior to ChatGPT.

Use Cases

We designed a series of tests to compare Claude’s effectiveness against ChatGPT directly:

  • Email Writing: I tasked Claude with compiling an email from a jumble of data points and bullet notes.  Claude’s output was clearer and lacked the occasionally overwrought vocabulary of ChatGPT, although it did entirely miss one key point initially. I then had both tools simplify the email and reduce the formality. Claudes writing style seems more in line with mine.  VERDICT: The tools are comparable, but Claude's style/tone makes it the winner for me.
  • Image Generation: When I needed a visual to accompany a presentation, I discovered that Claude doesn’t support image generation. VERDICT: A clear win for ChatGPT.
  • Easter Scavenger Hunt: I tasked both tools with developing an Easter Egg scavenger hunt for my 6-year-old, where she needed to solve a series of riddles.  While ChatGPT provided creatively superior riddles, Claude’s simpler approach was also commendable. VERDICT: I’d give this one to ChatGPT (and FYI, the hunt was a huge success).
  • Data into Table: I often use AI to collate disparate data for me. Both AI tools efficiently organised disordered data into a coherent table format, showcasing their utility in document preparation tasks. VERDICT: A Tie.
  • Handwriting Translation: One regular task I use AI for is translating my handwriting from my reMarkable2 tablet or whiteboard.  Both performed this task well for me. VERDICT: While research suggests Claude should be better at this, ChatGPT was just as good. Tie.

Throughout various tasks, Claude proved to be simple to use and a reliable tool, but it didn’t consistently outshine ChatGPT. Its strengths lie in straightforward communication and not retaining user data.

Comparison with Other Tools

Both Claude and ChatGPT offer Pro Plans at $20US, but Claude’s non-learning capability for privacy preservation, even in its free model, is a significant differentiator. However, for business use where image generation and customisation are key, ChatGPT's broader capabilities and advanced security in its Enterprise Plan make it more appealing.

Conclusion and Verdict

After weeks of testing, Claude has demonstrated its competence and ethical design, making it a suitable choice for individuals seeking a straightforward, privacy-conscious AI. However, for commercial environments where versatility and robustness are paramount, ChatGPT remains our preferred AI tool. We remain open and eager to see how these AI technologies evolve, potentially reshaping our digital strategies in the future.

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