What’s the difference between chatbots, ChatGPT, and Azure OpenAI (and why does it matter)?

April 11, 2024

What’s the difference between chatbots, ChatGPT, and Azure OpenAI (and why does it matter)?

April 11, 2024

magnifying glass over the word AI on a document

Each offers immense benefits, but knowing the various strengths, opportunities, and advantages of each will help you sharpen your approach to implementing these cutting edge technologies and tools.

Andrew Sears

Andrew is a Lead Data Architect (ML) with a broad depth of experience designing and building cloud data platforms, integration, and business intelligence solutions. He has worked with many of the largest companies in Canada on their data strategies and a variety of major hands-on projects.

Jason Lee is a Partner and MNP Digital’s Applied Data & Analytics Lead. Drawing on two decades of experience in technology, project and account management, and data innovation, Jason solves complex technology and business challenges to help his clients thrive.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), the varying terminologies and tools can be confusing.

Among the many AI-driven solutions, three have really stood out to our clients: chatbots, ChatGPT, and Azure OpenAI.

While these three may seem interchangeable, understanding their nuances is crucial, especially when considering the potential impact, opportunities, and challenges they can have within an organization.

From automated customer service assistance to advanced language models capable of generating human-like responses in real-time, each platform possesses unique features and applications. Discerning the differences between them can be a gateway to leveraging their capabilities effectively.

What is generative AI?

Generative AI is a term used to describe algorithms used to create content – such as text, images, audio, code, simulations, and video.

These tools use deep-learning models that are trained to “learn” from data they receive and generate outputs when prompted. They take the data they were trained on and create new work that’s similar, but not necessarily identical, to the original data.

Traditional AI typically involves algorithms that are trained to recognize patterns in data and make decisions or predictions based on those patterns, whereas generative AI focuses on creating new data or content.

While regular AI focuses on tasks like classification or clustering, generative AI is primarily concerned with the creation of new content that is indistinguishable from real data.

What’s behind the sudden hype around generative AI?

AI and chatbots are not new concepts. The first chatbot is considered to be ELIZA, created by Joseph Weizenbaum at MIT in 1966. With the release of GPT-2, and subsequently ChatGPT in fall 2022, the technology became more tangible and easier for everyone to access, there was a huge increase in interest everywhere. The ability to converse in natural language and create content from simple prompts has built an industry of generative AI solutions.

All over the world, from small organizations to huge companies like Microsoft – which, in early 2023 invested $10 billion into AI integration across their platforms through their program OpenAI – AI is quickly dominating conversations about the future of business.

Accessibility has enabled billions of people to create immersive content with little or no skill set as a requisite. This has illustrated the potential for organizations, outside of just technology focused businesses, to see how it could help operations run more efficiently.

What are the benefits and applications of generative AI?

Depending on the size, scale, and type of organization, there are several potential benefits and applications of generative AI.

Among the most appealing are:

  • Faster product development
  • Document and email creation and enhancements
  • Enhanced customer experience and retention
  • Improved employee productivity
  • Revenue growth
  • Cost optimization

However, the benefits of using generative AI do not negate the risks involved.

Generative AI has been known to “hallucinate,” spewing incorrect or misleading information depending on the kinds of prompts given. Copyright infringement is another concern as generative AI can create content that very closely resembles existing copyrighted material. Additionally, incorrect, misleading, or offensive responses from AI-driven chatbots can risk monetary damages or reputational risks to a business.

What are the differences between chatbots, ChatGPT, and Azure Open AI?


  • Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users through text or voice interfaces.
  • Often used for customer service, automating tasks, or engaging users on websites, messaging platforms, and mobile apps.
  • Chatbots can be rule-based, following scripts and decision trees, or they can be powered by AI to understand and respond to natural language input.

Business use case examples include customer service and support, real-time document search, HR support, predictive maintenance, lead generation and qualification, e-commerce assistance, booking and reservations, training and onboarding, feedback collection and surveys, and much more.


  • ChatGPT is a specific implementation of and OpenAI model designed for conversational AI that leverages deep learning techniques to generate human-like text responses based on the input it receives.
  • Capable of understanding and generating natural language text in various contexts and with minimal prompting, making it suitable for chatbot applications, interactive storytelling, language translation, and more.

Business use case examples include content creation and curation, language translation, training and education, market research and analysis, healthcare support and patient engagement, legal and compliance assistance, and much more.

Azure OpenAI

  • Azure OpenAI is a collaboration between Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, and OpenAI – an AI research organization.
  • Encompasses various AI technologies and services offered on the Azure platform, including access to OpenAI’s models and application programing interface (API).
  • Provides tools, APIs, and infrastructure for developers to integrate Ai-driven features into their applications and services hosted on the Azure cloud.
  • Offers a secure, private gateway between OpenAI’s ChatGPT models and Azure services.

Business use case examples include written content augmentation and creation, question answering and discovery, content tone manipulation, summarization (of documents, meeting transcripts, etc.), content classification and tagging, chatbot performance improvements, and software coding, among others.

Which generative AI services are needed?

The generative AI services and tools an organization needs depends on their specific requirements, budget, and AI readiness. Having a trusted advisor who understands the technology and can walk you through the benefits and risks for adoption is important.

Building a foundation of quality, refined data sources and techniques for fine-tuning and maintaining foundational models and integrating with business processes will help ensure success.

While it can seem like an exciting opportunity – and it is – it’s vital to have a solid data foundation in place before embarking on the AI journey.

With that in place, your organization can truly take advantage of these technologies. Our expert MNP advisors can assist with creating a “landing zone” in Azure that enables your organization to build a secure and scalable AI environment. This can be used for onboarding and other tasks to provide for rapid adoption of Open AI proof of concepts and solutions, integrating with other Azure services to deliver a flexible application easily.

Additionally, if you’re switching from ChatGPT to Azure OpenAI Service with Azure AI Services, you don’t have to start from scratch. With many migration options available to you, our experts can help your organization transition as required to get the most out of your chosen platforms. Our team can assist with selecting the proper platform for large language models, determining which models to use, and how to implement, secure and optimize your data and AI cloud services.

If you’re ready to put generative AI to work for you, contact MNP’s knowledgeable and experienced AI team to learn how to get started.

Connect with us to get started

Our team of dedicated professionals can help you determine which options are best for you and how adopting these kinds of solutions could transform the way your organization works. For more information, and for extra support along the way, contact our team.