Sometimes I look to the skies and think, ‘Why couldn’t you have let me be born in the US or something?’ It can be frustrating and annoying to live in Zimbabwe. I still wouldn’t want to relocate but I can’t help but be angry at the way the international community treats us sometimes.
We are failing as a nation on our own, we don’t need help in this. Yet, at every turn, we find ourselves having to scale over hurdles that those in the developed nations do not have to. It’s the equivalent of tying a large boulder to a runner who is trailing his competitors by a mile. What chance does he have to catch up?
The AI revolution
The AI revolution is upon us. We have written quite a bit about it:
- OpenAI claims the AI, ChatGPT, is meant to benefit all humanity but it is unavailable in 45 countries
- ChatGPT introduces subs, Google’s Bard stumbles on launch and Microsoft Teams guns for ZOOM with AI smarts. The state of consumer AI
What most of these AIs offer is:
- Answering questions and providing information on a wide range of topics, from general knowledge to specific niche stuff
- Generating text – articles, essays, and creative writing. They can write recommendation letters, craft emails, tweets and whatever you want
- Summarizing text and extracting key information from lengthy documents
- Translating text from one language to another
- Generating code from natural language instructions. You can tell them what you want to be done and they will write the code for you
- Analysing opinions expressed in text, so, a research assistant
You may remember when smartphones first gained prominence and there was that famous tagline, ‘there’s an app for that.’ Well now, whatever you need, there is an AI for that.
Zimbabwe left out?
ChatGPT is what got generative AI into the mainstream and remains the most popular.
Despite this, ChatGPT is still mum on why the likes of Zimbabwe still do not have official access. You can get around that but it’s quite a hassle. I was just trying out all the options there are and I gotta tell you, you will need to use a VPN and have a friend who can receive an SMS on your behalf in a supported country.
Thought you could just use a temporary/virtual phone number? ChatGPT doesn’t play that game.
Most numbers from most free virtual number sites will not work for you. You will have to pay to get one that works. If that works for you, go ahead. I don’t imagine many will be able to use this method though. I won’t even talk about the proxy method here.
So, the easiest, lazy-boy, hassle-free way to get in on the generative AI train is to use ChatGPT-powered Bing or some decent alternative AI.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover how you can unlock the potential of ChatGPT, even here in Zimbabwe. Some of these AIs have their own niches and you will find one that serves your needs.
There used to be a waitlist but now you can just install Bing and be on your merry AI way. I know that most of us use our phones for most of our browsing needs and so you will be happy to know you can have Bing on both Android and iOS.
You will need to have a Microsoft account to use ChatGPT-powered Bing but if you don’t have one, fear not, it will prompt you to create one and it’s as easy as ABC.
Do note though that you may run into the following error when you eventually try to use the service:
Apologies, but we’re having trouble adding you to the waitlist.
To fix this, try using a different browser to log into your Microsoft account. Visit bing.com/new and then sign up to use Bing Chat from there. It will say ‘Join waitlist’ but you will get access immediately.
If you use an iOS device you just have to check out Perplexity AI. You get pretty much the same experience you get using ChatGPT-powered Bing.
There are no ads, no premium plans, and it’s completely free to use, even for Zimbabweans.
I have used this one over any other generative AI and in some respects, especially when it comes to citing sources, it is better than ChatGPT.
Other alternatives include:
There are so many ChatGPT alternatives out there, we can’t test them all. So, let’s go through a list we got from scouring the web and seeing what people are using. Most of them are free with some kind of premium plan available and unlike ChatGPT, you won’t have to jump through hoops to use them.
These AI can generate various types of content; press releases, marketing copy, emails, blog posts, landing pages, short stories, screenplays, novels and whatever else you may want to be written.
- Jasper AI – a jack-of-all-trades AI, can generate almost anything, including long-form content (over 1000 words)
- Writesonic – helps produce blog posts, product descriptions etc
- Sudowrite – you’ve had that movie idea for too long. This AI will help make that screenplay or novel a reality. They say they are “the non-judgmental, always-there-to-read-one-more-draft, never-runs-out-of-ideas-even-at-3am, AI writing partner.”
- Anyword – Tell your friend in marketing that they need to check this one out. It creates copy for emails, press releases and even generates Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn ads.
For CV writing
It’s unfortunate that you could miss out on the job you would excel at just because your CV is bland. Well, you don’t need to visit your cousin for help jazzing it up anymore, these AI and AI-powered services will help you write a good one.
- Rezi – everyone seems to agree that this is the best one out there. It will help you write, edit, and format a CV or cover letter and when it goes South, even a resignation letter.
- Enhancv – you’ll get CV templates, it will proofread your writings and write a professional-looking CV for you. It can even help you prep for interviews.
- ResumeWorded – you get the usual CV stuff and it can analyse the job description and use their keywords in your CV, amongst other things.
- Kickresume – yet another solid option. Can give you feedback on your current CV and help you improve it or write a completely different one.
You will need to wow potential investors or your board of directors at some point. These AI will help you create beautiful decks or presentations. Tell your entrepreneur friend.
- Presentations AI – you can input text and get lovely decks in seconds. You can start with just a simple idea in text form, or you can fill out a form or you could allow the AI to analyse your mail, chats or notes and it will churn out presentations for you.
- Beautiful AI – you can start off with templates and customise until you get something you like.
- Slidesgo – more of the same
Working on a dissertation, research paper or some academic piece? These AI will help you do that faster.
- Paperpal – is tailored for researchers and academic writing and can check your manuscript. There is even a Microsoft Word plug-in available.
- Consensus – it is a search engine that helps you make sense of what research around a particular topic actually says. The search bar says ‘What does the research say about …’ That says it all.
- Scite – One of the criticisms levelled against ChatGPT is that it sometimes lies about or omits citations. That won’t work when you’re working on an academic paper. As the name suggests, Scite focuses on this, helping you find highly supported researchers, find out whether research has been supported or contrasted and so on.
Again, we can’t go through them all. Whatever you want assistance with, just search for AI that delivers that and you’ll be good to go. You’ll find AI that specialises in;
- Music generation
- Writing code
- Creating videos
- Creating and manipulating images
- Or whatever else you may want