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Perplexity AI: Beyond Chatbots – The Answer Engine Redefining Search

In the Era of AI, Perplexity AI CEO Aravind Srinivas Pioneers a Model-Agnostic Approach to Delivering Accurate Answers

NEWS  AI  January 6, 2024  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

In the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence, where chatbots seem to dominate headlines, Perplexity AI is carving its niche as an answer engine, aiming to redefine the search experience. In an exclusive interview with Decrypt, Aravind Srinivas, the CEO of Perplexity AI, sheds light on the company's unique approach and its recent $74 million Series B funding led by IVP.


Aravind Srinindas Perplexity AI Search Engine CEO

Aravind Srinivas dismisses the notion of creating yet another chatbot, emphasizing that Perplexity is more than just a conversational tool. He coins the term "answer engine" to articulate the platform's commitment to providing comprehensive answers grounded in real facts, complete with citations. This vision stems from Srinivas's academic background, where credibility is paramount.

The $74 million in funding, led by IVP, is earmarked for scaling Perplexity to accommodate the growing user base it has amassed since its launch two years ago. Srinivas acknowledges the excitement surrounding ChatGPT but emphasizes that not every AI solution needs to mimic a chatbot. Perplexity aims to enhance the AI-powered search experience, focusing on understanding user intent right from the initial response and minimizing the need for follow-up questions.

Launched in August 2022 by a team of developers and engineers from prestigious tech companies, including OpenAI, Meta, Quora, and Databrick, Perplexity positions itself as model-agnostic. Srinivas asserts that the platform selects the most effective model for each task, avoiding a rigid model ownership mentality.

Perplexity AI

While the AI industry experiences a proliferation of generative tools, Srinivas distinguishes Perplexity's approach from the doomsday predictions. He envisions generative AI as a utility tool, not an agent replacing humans. Drawing parallels to a household toaster, he emphasizes Perplexity's role as a non-judgmental, factual answer engine rather than a human-like companion.

The funding round we covered some days ago, featuring prominent investors like NEA, Databricks, NVIDIA, and others, signifies a broader industry acknowledgment of Perplexity's potential. Srinivas remains optimistic about the future of AI, stressing the importance of viewing it as a tool for lowering barriers to learning new subjects, rather than an existential threat to employment.

As Perplexity adheres to its vision of being the most accurate answer engine globally, it stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of AI solutions, showcasing the significance of factual accuracy in an era dominated by generative technologies.



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