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Generative AI and Chatbots

This guide offers advice on generative AI chatbots and tools and how to best use them to support your work.

"Generative" AI chatbots

As word prediction systems, AI chatbots are inventive and "generative" and they can be useful for creative tasks. Because they have been trained on large quantities of text from the open Internet and their aim is to mimic human conversation, they can be useful for language-based tasks. With increasing levels of human fine-tuning and access to third-party plugins, some chatbots are improving at other types of tasks as well.

Some things chatbots may do well

Currently, AI chatbot responses often include a mix of correct and incorrect information. They may still be helpful for:

  • Brainstorming ideas, including research topics
  • Coming up with search keywords
  • Starting point for translating some foreign languages
  • Writing computer code and learning about coding

Depending on your goals, they may also be good at

  • Summarizing text, especially in general terms or for specific reading levels or audiences
  • Writing and editing text, such as applying an editorial style or tone
  • Creating original images

Whether you are asking them to answer questions, write text, translate text, or write code, be sure to check chatbot output for errors.

Popular, standalone chatbots

Manage your chatbot settings

It is possible to customize some account, data, and privacy settings in many chatbots and tools.

Anthropic's Claude does not have such settings because of their safety-first approach. Anthropic was founded by former OpenAI employees who disagreed with OpenAI's departure from its initial non-profit plans. Read more about Anthropic's core views on AI safety.