We asked the top AI for Valentine’s Day gift ideas: Here’s the best suggestions

The world has fallen in love with generative AI. In certain instances maybe a little bit too much. There’s no doubt that the technology is useful, but when it comes to matters of the heart surely you’d be better off looking inward for inspiration. But since we ask generative AI chatbots about anything anyway, we wanted to find out if the tech could help us find some nifty Valentine’s Day gift ideas for our significant others.

The three top AI right now by popularity are ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini, and while Copilot is using the same large language model (read: brain) as ChatGPT, it has access to the internet and Bing Search which adjusts the answers it can give.

We asked the three chatbots to suggest a few Valentine’s Day gift ideas that were proudly South African. Here’s what we discovered:

Google Gemini

“Today is Valentine’s day, can you suggest some proudly South African Valentine’s day presents for my significant other?” is what we asked Gemini, the newly rebranded Google Bard. This is the youngest of the three chatbots, and the one with the most to prove.

Gemini broke down its answers into three sections, namely experiences, gifts and extra tips.

In experiences, it told us to book a Winelands Getaway for our SO, “a romantic weekend in the Stellenbosch or Franschhoek winelands, enjoying wine tastings, delicious meals, and stunning scenery.” Other suggestions were a Safari Adventure and a hot air balloon ride. Firstly, Gemini, today is Valentine’s Day so it’s a little bit short notice for those ideas, but its final suggestion of a Spa Day for two might be a little bit more plausible. Alternatively, it gives the option of buying a voucher instead of booking the experience.

Gemini also links some websites along with the suggestions, which users can head into to book the suggested activities. The fact that it manages to find sources of information that actually help you find bookings is impressive.

The chatbot also suggested locally-made jewellery from BetterBuys, personalised gifts from Hamperlicious, and it provided a link to a site where you can buy a full hamper of South African snack favourites like “biltong, droëwors, koeksisters, and rooibos tea.”

Actual jewellery suggestion given by Gemini. Very romantic.

Gemini gives a good round-up, but a user might have to adjust the prompt slightly and ask for more affordable options. We also enjoyed the fact that it gives a few extra tips, like that you should write a heartfelt Valentine’s Day card to go along with your gift.

Helpfulness: 7/10.


More popular than Gemini and Copilot combined, OpenAI’s chatbot might be the first place you think to look if you plan to ask generative AI a question. The chatbot is among the more powerful in the market, capable of giving some of the most human-like responses. But that’s the premium version.

We found that the free version is actually less helpful than Gemini and Bing, with the most important difference is the fact that it cannot use the internet as a database, and suggest links for added convenience. Instead it offers a very ChatGPT-like list.

Here we start seeing that the internet databases that these large language models are pulling from are very similar. Like Gemini, it suggests you take your SO on a safari adventure, you consider a personalised gift, you look at buying a food hamper with biltong, or you purchase a locally made product or curios. We found the music or literature option interesting, particularly because of the items it recommends.

JM Coetzee’s Disgrace is an important novel for post-colonial South Africa, but not the most romantic book in the world. Neither is Trevor Noah’s memoir of facing discrimination in his early life. Simply put, ChatGPT has trawled its database for the most South African things it can find and listed them in the guise of V-Day ideas.

Helpfulness: 3/10.

Microsoft Copilot

The final chatbot we asked for Valentine’s Day Gift ideas was Copilot, the former Bing Chat, which uses the same basis as ChatGPT but was altered significantly by Microsoft.

Copilot has a lot of little extra flourishes that the others don’t carry that give it a bit more professionalism. This is especially evident as compared to ChatGPT. Also, every single suggestion comes with a link, usually a South African website like Yuppiechef and Superbalist. The suggestion for a South African-inspired fragrance is probably the best idea offered by all three of the chatbots. Not only is it unique, but it’s actually romantic.

Also, Copilot does keep its suggestions realistic, unlike Gemini which suggests you plan a safari adventure in a single day.

The most out-there idea is to plan a picnic, but for some reason, it links to an ecommerce website instead of a database of parks. Probably because the focus of the suggestion is to buy food stuffs to fill the picnic basket, but we would have liked to have seen some locations suggested as well.

Helpfulness: 8/10.

We found that Microsoft Copilot has the most realistic suggestions, and the fragrance idea is actually one we would consider.

It is important to note that all three of these chatbots are free to use, and we used the free versions for this article. Googe and OpenAI offer more powerful versions of their AI through subscription models, which could give different suggestions.

[Image – Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash]


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