summary Summary

Perplexity is an interactive AI search companion, leveraging the power of GPT-4 to offer a deeply personalized search experience.

Perplexity has a basic tool that is free to use and an even smarter, more intelligent version called Copilot that is powered by GPT-4 but requires a login and charges for intensive use ($20/month). Instead of just returning search results, Perplexity AI's Copilot tool guides users through the process, asking clarifying questions, performing multiple searches, and summarizing the results.

Features and Capabilities

Perplexity has a wide range of search options, allowing users to explore the web, academic papers, YouTube, Reddit, and the news with great precision. These extensive capabilities take search to a much deeper level compared to ChatGPT.

While the iOS app is immediately available, Android users must join a waiting list. To manage demand, CoPilot limits users to five searches every four hours. However, these restrictions do not apply to the basic version.


The basic version can curate information from multiple sources to answer more complex questions. For example, we asked when the latest episode of the Apple TV series For All Mankind was likely to air.

Image: Screenshot Perplexity

Although the release date was not announced, it was able to intelligently speculate when it would air based on the airing of previous series and information about the filming schedule from various sources.

I used copilot with the YouTube option selected to ask it what tech blogger Sara Dietchy’s latest video was all about.

Image: Screenshot Perplexity

The video was titled ‘I’ve been Scared to Talk About this’. However, in the video itself, she comments on ADHD, this would only be evident if Perplexity was about to watch and internalize the video. Instead, the copilot tool is limited to only relaying information on video comments, titles, and descriptions and not the content of YouTube videos themselves.

When I asked it for the latest news from our site, the answer was a complete failure in the free version.

Image Screenshot Perplexity

However, in the GPT-4 powered copilot search, the answer is almost current, going back to 27. June with the latest news, handing out a short summary of the article right in the search results, making the link click mood. It's still not the latest news, but it doesn't take much imagination to see where this is going.

Bild: Screenshot Perplexity

A broader search for today's latest AI news also gives me articles published a few days ago, but just asking for today's news, in general, gives me results for today and citations where it got the content from, similar to Bing Chat.

Bild: Perplexity

The Founders

Perplexity AI is being developed by a team of academics with a strong background in computer science. Aravind Srinivas, a Berkley Ph.D. in computer science and former employee of Deep Mind, Open AI, and Google, leads the team. He is joined by Denis Yarats, currently a Ph.D. student in AI and machine learning, Johnny Ho, and Andy Konwinski, also a Berkley graduate.

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  • Perplexity is powered by GPT-4. It offers personalized web searches with AI-generated text.
  • The Copilot tool clarifies, explores, and summarizes search results. The free version of Copilot is limited to five searches every four hours; a paid version for $20 per month removes this limitation.
  • It accesses multiple sources, including YouTube and scientific papers. The founders include computer scientists from Berkeley and DeepMind.
Journalist and published fiction author Harry is leveraging AI tools to bring his stories to life in new ways. He is currently working on making the first entirely AI generated movies from his novels and has a serialised story newsletter illustrated by Midjourney.
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Join the DECODER community on Discord, Reddit or Twitter - we can't wait to meet you.