Perplexity.AI takes on both Google Search and ChatGPT

AI apps are growing at a notable pace.

Perplexity.AI uses multiple AI databases (including GPT) to do something we discussed here on MPU with technological skepticism. It is a search engine which allows for freeform generative AI instruction; most notably, it gives references showing the source for the statements it makes.

This might be a serious Google competitor given its ability to list pros and cons of various sites in narrative format - along with active hyperlinks. That’s a super convenient way to begin any web search.


Interesting. I generally like the sources Perplexity’s listing, but I prefer the output of ChatGPT (and neither is perfect.) A browser extension that splits the view and enters the same content into each engine could be nice.

Here’s one set of prompts that illustrates what I mean.

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Interesting @cornchip - In a bit of testing this evening I think my preferences vary somewhat depending on the topic.

ChatGPT seems particularly skilled at questions involving coding. Indeed Perplexity does not seem to be able to generate code at all.

ChatGPT cannot access current information at all unless you add the WebChat Chrome extension. While that’s a great extension, for current events information and scientific literature searches I prefer the format of Perplexity.

However Perplexity only gives 5 references at most, whereas WebChat GPT can give 10 references.

No doubt this will quickly evolve like a cat/mouse game.

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I’m ALL for the impending AI Wars of '23 and beyond. No matter how good a product is the competition is always right behind the leader.

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But apparently their accuracy is not keeping up, with costly results.

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At the moment I use perplexity ai because it provides the sources of the information it shows you. I have stumbled upon some interesting websites that way, where if I need I can consume the whole content.

I remember watching the new bing conference and it does something similar. I’m waiting to get access to it.

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I tried Bing AI today and yes, it answers somewhat obscure questions (“What electronic instruments did Franco Battiato play?”) with web references. I believe it first performs a regular web search, finds the most relevant sources, and then composes the conversational response. I have also read reports of Bing AI updating its answers as Bing crawls the web.

Very well executed by MS. No wonder why Google is scrambling to deliver, well, anything.