A US startup is working to revitalise the search engine sector by infusing it with a dose of artificial intelligence. The result is called Perplexity, and it’s backed by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. But will it be enough to overshadow, or even outshine, Google?
Perplexity was founded in 2022 by a former engineer from OpenAI (the publisher of ChatGPT). This startup is developing a conversational search engine based on artificial intelligence. It combines a “traditional” search engine and a conversational agent, called Copilot. The site can be tested free of charge, but registration is required to take advantage of Copilot’s power. For unlimited access, a US$20/month subscription is required. In any case, Perplexity is available both via a web browser and via a dedicated mobile application.
Unlike Google and other search engines, where you enter search queries by simply entering keywords, here you can ask very precise questions, just like when using AI chatbots like ChatGPT or Bard. You’ll then receive a comprehensive answer, with various forms of content if required (text, photos, videos, etc).
It also provides a link to all the sources used. Compared to Google, Perplexity is far more intuitive and easier to use, since it allows you to communicate in natural language, as if you were speaking directly to an assistant. AI helps Perplexity understand users’ intentions and provides relevant answers from the most appropriate sources.
In addition to its advanced technology, Perplexity is attracting attention because its investors include Jeff Bezos, who is supporting its mission to revolutionise Internet search.
However, Perplexity is taking on a major challenge, since Google alone accounts for over 90% of online searches worldwide (excluding China). Other, alternative search engines – from Qwant and DuckDuckGo to the eco-friendly Ecosia and Karma – have more or less fallen by the wayside. Plus, given that Google intends to boost its search engine in the near future with Gemini, its own artificial intelligence model, Perplexity’s challenge is all the greater.
– AFP Relaxnews