Anthropic launches Claude Pro to Rival ChatGPT Plus

September 9, 2023

Claude AI

Anthropic, a Google-backed player in generative AI, introduced Claude Pro – a paid subscription plan featuring advanced chatbot capabilities.

Initially available in the US and the UK only, Claude Pro aims to offer extended conversation durations, the ability to send more messages, priority access during high-traffic periods, and early access to new features and updates.

Claude Pro is also priced identically to ChatGPT Plus at $20 per month. 

Anthropic said customers have chosen Claude as their primary AI assistant due to its longer context windows, faster outputs, complex reasoning capabilities, and other advantages over competitors like Bard and ChatGPT. 

With Claude Pro, the startup claims users can expect “5x more usage” of their newest model.

While Claude Pro subscribers will still face certain restrictions – like message length, conversation duration, and file size – the service will reset these limitations every eight hours. 

According to Anthropic, at least 100 messages can be sent to Claude 2 within an eight-hour window before the message count resets. For context, GPT Plus allows 50 messages every three hours.

Anthropic cited the need for these restrictions due to the immense computing power required to operate Claude 2. The free tier of Claude will continue but with more stringent limitations.

Claude Pro is part of Anthropic’s broader monetization strategy, which has so far seen the startup raise $1.45 billion from investors. Their most recent funding round closed at $100 million from South Korean telecommunications giant SK Telecom Co. Ltd. 

However, they estimate they need up to $5 billion over the next two years to realize their vision for generative AI.

Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, said that Anthropic’s launch of a paid plan shows how fast the generative AI market is maturing. 

“It’s no surprise Anthropic wants to boost revenue as it’s known that creating, training, and maintaining large language models is an expensive business,” he said

Mueller continued, “Because the industry leader, OpenAI, is monetizing, that helps the rest of the industry generate organic revenue. Anthropic is following in its footsteps with Claude Pro. The downside of offering a paid model is that Anthropic gets less evaluating users, but the company seems to think it can strike the right balance between its free tier and paid offering.”

ChatGPT Plus vs Claude Pro

Everyone wants to know whether to switch from ChatGPT Plus – equipped with GPT-4 – to Claude Pro – equipped with Claude 2. 

It’s worth noting firstly that Claude Pro offers the same model as the free version but with expanded functionality.

So, if you’ve used Claude before, you’ll already know how it feels and performs.

Here’s how they square up:

Contextual abilities

Claude Pro reportedly outperforms ChatGPT Plus by handling a larger context window of 100K tokens than ChatGPT Plus’s 8,192 tokens. 

This equates to about 75,000 words, which means Claude Pro is in a category of its own for users who require deeper conversations and more extensive background information.

I verified this by asking Claude 2 to summarize a scientific paper of 10,000 words or so, which is considerably more than ChatGPT can handle.

Anthropic AI
Claude can handle larger volumes of text than ChatGPT.

Hallucinations and accuracy

On the flip side, Claude Pro reportedly tends to generate more “hallucinations,” or fake answers, compared to ChatGPT. 

This introduces a degree of risk, as the chatbot’s larger context window can sometimes output information that may seem credible but is factually inaccurate.

While Claude Pro can work with very large prompts, its handling reportedly diminishes the longer they are. 

Training data

Claude Pro is updated with information through early 2023, whereas ChatGPT’s data extends only to 2021. 

I verified this by asking Claude to discuss 2023’s main news topics, and it promptly listed a few events, including the US shooting down the Chinese weather balloon in February. 

Anthropic AI
Claude has knowledge of contemporary events from 2023, which ChatGPT lacks with its 2021 training data cut-off.

Functionality and customization

ChatGPT Plus is more modular, with nearly 1,000 plugins for a range of tasks, from SEO audits to designing logos.

Language availability

ChatGPT Plus is accessible in over 140 countries and supports over 80 languages, while Claude Pro is currently only available to users in the US and the UK and supports significantly fewer languages.

Currently, the debate of Claude Pro vs ChatGPT Plus is thoroughly limited to US and UK users. 

Non-verbal abilities

While Claude can offer detailed answers requiring logical skills, ChatGPT has superior coding abilities, according to most reports.

This advantage is compounded through the use of third-party plugins for GPT Plus. 

Test scores

According to Speechify, Claude 2 performed better in the US Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) exam writing portion and the Bar law exam (a test designed for lawyers), highlighting its capabilities in clear reasoning and ethical considerations.

However, Claude 2 outperformed GPT-4 in the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE and the USMLE exam, potentially pointing to its broader knowledge base and versatility.

The winner is…

It depends. 

Yes, it’s the usual cop-out answer, but these AIs cost the same and are closely matched, and in the end, it mostly comes down to use cases and preference. 

ChatGPT likely still holds the edge for most casual and professional users who have been using it for a while and are thus accustomed to it. 

However, it’s worth switching workloads and processes to Claude for a period to see how it responds – you might be surprised.

For those working with extensively long documents or text, including academic papers, Claude Plus is vastly superior to ChatGPT, and I see this as one of its leading benefits.

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.


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