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In this Perplexity AI Review, we compare similar products like Google Search and ChatGPT.

In our opinion, Perplexity is a tool worth checking out, especially if you want to research topics in-depth or generate text.

AI-generated text can be helpful for certain situations but you may also need to check a text to see if it passes AI content detection. For this, I recommend checking out our tool Winston AI which has an accuracy rate of 99.98% when detecting AI content.

Try Winston AI here

What is Perplexity AI?

Perplexity AI is primarily a search engine (like Google Search) that gives you answers generated by AI. 

You can search for any information you want to know and Perplexity will search the internet and its training dataset to give you an answer.

perlexity ai search engine

As you can see from my results below, I got a concise answer to my simple question with links to sources, images and videos.

perplexity ai search engine results

You will also notice that there is space to ask a follow-up question like you can with ChatGPT. 

You will also notice that Perplexity AI doesn’t show any advertisements on the results page. This is quite the difference from Google which often shows ads at the top of the search engine results page. 

Perplexity is often used by people doing research and we will learn more about that when we look at some more of its features below.

How does Perplexity AI compare to ChatGPT?

It is important to note that both tools can be used for information retrieval (when you are searching for something) or generation (when you want the tool to create something).

As a Search Engine

Perplexity AI is quite similar to ChatGPT except that the main feature is to search the internet. You can also do that with ChatGPT but currently, it is only for paid users. 

The core problem with using AI for search is that it generates information that it doesn’t understand. It can therefore often make mistakes or not know certain answers. 

AI tools are good at answering simple questions, but what about more complex questions requiring up-to-date information?

I asked both Perplexity and ChatGPT “What is the IPGA business model” (a relatively new query) and both of them got it wrong the first time. Interestingly, I just asked again and both of them gave me good answers 

I am not sure whether Perplexity or Chat GPT should be used for searching this type of information. You may not get reliable results in my experience.

Text Generation

Both Perplexity AI and ChatGPT can generate text for you. All you need to do is to ask for what you want. 

perplexity ai generative text

From this basic test of asking to write a blog post comparing Perplexity to ChatGPT the output was better from Perplexity AI (more concise, easier to read) than the free version of ChatGPT.

When I asked GPT4 (the paid version of ChatGPT) the difference in quality improved dramatically. 

Perplexity AI vs GPT4

There are still issues with the content. It repeated itself a lot, and ChatGPT based its claims on its training data rather than real testing of the tools. 

Perplexity, on the other hand, quotes its sources which is great on the one hand but not so helpful when some of those sources are content most likely generated from ChatGPT and published on other websites.

If you want to check your sources and see if they were AI-generated text or not, you should test out our AI detection tool Winston AI. 

We have a 99.98% accuracy rate when testing AI-generated text.

Try Winston AI here.    

Perplexity AI vs Google – Which is Better

Google is a much better comparison as Perplexity AI is more of a Search engine similar to Google’s main product “Google Search”. 

Whether Perplexity AI is better than Google depends on what you are searching for and your own preferences, 

Google is better for simple queries or more up-to-date information as Google have the largest, most up-to-date index (their collection of websites that they rank and collect information from).

Perplexity AI can be better if you want to go deeper into a topic by asking follow-up questions or if you don’t like seeing Advertisements.

Google SGE/Gemini

It is important to note that Google is launching Search Generative Experience (SGE) where they generate an AI answer at the top of the results page. You may have seen this already as they have been testing it with the full launch expected in May 2024. Recent speculation is suggesting that this AI search may become a paid feature. 

Google Gemini is Google’s answer to ChatGPT where you can generate text or search within your Google Workspace products (YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive etc).

Is Perplexity AI Free? What is the Business Model?

Perplexity AI is free to use and search the internet. They also have a premium plan called Perplexity Pro which costs $20 per month or $200 per month.

On the free plan, you get 3 “pro” searches per month.

The Business model of Perplexity AI is hard to understand as it costs quite a bit of money to run the Large Language models needed to run their free plan. Granted, many, many, AI-enthusiasts like myself would pay the $20 per month to get all of the features.   

 What Features does Perplexity AI Pro have?

The Perplexity plan offers the following extras to the main free AI search engine: 

  • Unlimited Pro Search: Pro Search is Perplexity AI’s most powerful search capability. From my testing, it seems to provide a more in-depth search by first using AI to understand the context/intent of the search.
  • Unlimited File Uploads: Users can ask questions about uploaded images, documents, PDFs, and more.
  • Longer Conversations: Pro users can engage in extended conversations with the AI, enabling deeper exploration of topics and more detailed responses.
  • Priority Access: Pro users receive priority access to the latest AI models and features. GPT4 and Claude 3 are available for pro users
  • API Access: The Pro plan includes API credits, allowing developers to integrate Perplexity AI’s capabilities into their own applications.

Perplexity AI Copilot

The perplexity copilot is more for research and learning rather than searching for basic information. Perplexity Copilot can also be used to ask follow-up questions and refine your search.

You can learn more about the Perplexity AI CoPilot by watching this video:

Can Perplexity AI generate images like ChatGPT?

No, Perplexity AI can’t create images like ChatGPT. ChatGPT can create images but it is currently only available in the paid version.

If you want to create AI images for free you can use the Microsoft Copilot which is free for most people who use Windows.

Does Perplexity use ChatGPT as its base model?

Perplexity AI uses various different Large Language Models for their AI search tool. The Perplexity AI default model on the free plan is a fine-tuned GPT3.5 model.

They also use

  • GPT4 Turbo
  • Claude 3 
  • Mistral 
  • Their own experimental models

Some of these models are part of the pro plan and you can pick your model depending on your needs.

Final thoughts on Perplexity AI

Perplexity AI is definitely an interesting AI search engine to try out and I can understand the hype around it. It certainly doesn’t give perfect answers every time but let’s be honest neither does Google.

I recommend giving Perplexity AI a try if you are tired of the many advertisements that Google have but be warned, that you should double-check the accuracy of the answers you receive. 

Conor Monaghan

Conor is an AI expert and English Teacher. He spends his time researching and writing about AI tools to help educators and publishers to become more productive.