What is Perplexity AI and How Does It Work?

Are you tired of spending countless hours digging through mountains of information for your research projects?

Well, I’ve got some exciting news for you!

Imagine having a tool that can effortlessly unlock the power of knowledge and take your research process to a whole new level.

Sound interesting?

That’s exactly what Perplexity AI brings to the table.

In this post, we’ll deep dive into what Perplexity AI is all about and how it works.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!

Disclosure: Our website is reader-supported. If you purchase any product through our partner links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

What is Perplexity AI?

Perplexity AI is an AI-powered conversational search engine that uses language models to provide quick and personalized answers to all your questions, whether you need to solve a problem, learn something new, or simply get an answer to a burning question.

It was founded in 2022 by Aravind Srinivas, Denis Yarats, Johnny Ho, and Andy Konwinski.

Using Perplexity AI on a laptop

According to TechCrunch, Yarats has a wealth of experience as a staff machine learning engineer at Quora and later joined Meta as an AI research scientist.

Srinivas, on the other hand, interned at both DeepMind and Google before becoming an AI researcher at OpenAI. Alongside them, Ho worked as an engineer at Quora and Konwinski is one of the founding members of Databricks.

Their mission is to revolutionize the way we discover, access, and consume knowledge online, ensuring that people can trust Perplexity as their go-to source for expanding their knowledge.

How Does Perplexity Work?

You can talk to Perplexity just like you would talk to a real person, using normal everyday language. It’s really good at understanding what you mean and giving you answers that make sense to you.

When you ask a question, Perplexity tries to understand what you mean and may ask more questions to make sure it gets it right.

It does all this using its advanced answer engine.

This engine processes your questions and looks at the whole conversation history to understand what you need.

Then, using advanced technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to come up with helpful responses by choosing the best information from different sources.

It gives you a short and simple summary of what you need to know.

To try it out, just go to perplexity.ai and type in any question you have. It’s that simple!

Key Features of Perplexity AI

Perplexity AI stands out from traditional search engines by offering a unique approach to delivering search results.

Instead of simply providing users with a list of links, Perplexity AI takes it a step further and summarizes the search results to answer the user’s query directly.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the features offered by Perplexity AI:

Quick Search

How to use Perplexity AI Quick Search feature

With Perplexity AI, you can find answers to your questions quickly. It provides concise responses, saving you time and effort.


Copilot is like having a helpful friend who asks you questions to better understand what you’re looking for. It’s an interactive search assistant that works with Perplexity AI.

Just imagine you’re trying to choose shoes for a wedding, but you’re not exactly sure what style or color you want.

Perplexity AI Copilot

Copilot steps in and starts asking you clarifying questions, like “Which aspect of choosing wedding shoes would you like more information on?” or “Are you looking for a specific brand?”

Based on your answers, Copilot can narrow down the search and find the best possible answer.

Search Focus

How to use Perplexity AI Search Focus feature

This feature allows you to narrow down your search by selecting specific sources. By using the “Focus” button, you can choose the desired option from the drop-down menu, ensuring more targeted and relevant results.


A Thread in Perplexity AI refers to a complete conversation with the AI.

Perplexity AI Threads feature

It includes your initial question, any follow-up queries, and all of Perplexity’s responses. You can give the conversation a title for easy reference, share it with others, and even edit your original queries.


Have you ever wondered where the information you find online comes from?

Perplexity AI takes care of that by displaying the source of the information it provides. It cites the sources used to give you the answer, allowing you to verify the information for yourself.

Perplexity AI Sources feature

For example, when I asked Perplexity AI about the Milky Way, it not only gave me the answer but also showed me the sources it used. To view the sources, simply click on the sources icon at the end of the answer.

AI Profile

The AI profile feature of Perplexity AI enables personalization by considering your details and preferences.

Perplexity AI Profile Features

It tailors the results and content based on your specific needs, making the platform even more user-friendly and efficient.

File Upload

Need to analyze a text or PDF file? Perplexity AI has you covered.

Perplexity File Upload

It allows users to upload files up to 25MB in size, making it easy to extract information from documents and gain valuable insights.

Web and App Accessibility

Convenience is key, and Perplexity AI understands that. It is available both on the web and as an app for iPhone users, ensuring that you can access its features anytime, anywhere.

Perplexity AI iOS App

And guess what? You can even set Perplexity AI as your default search engine with their Chrome extension.

They also have another Chrome extension that gives you instant summaries of the page you’re on, lets you ask questions directly from your toolbar, and even allows you to ask questions about the current page. It’s super convenient and easy to use.

ChatGPT vs. Perplexity AI

ChatGPT and Perplexity AI are two powerful AI tools that can help us in various ways.

Let’s start with ChatGPT. It’s like a super-smart chatbot that can have conversations with you.

It can assist with answering questions, composing emails, and essays, coding, and even generating content for specific use cases.

But here’s the thing: ChatGPT’s free version has limited knowledge up to 2021. So, if you want the latest research and information, it might not be the best choice.

If you want the latest info, you have to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus, which costs $20 a month. With this subscription, you gain access to web browsing capabilities and access to over 70 third-party plugins.

ChatGPT vs. Perplexity AI - What's The difference?

Now, let’s talk about Perplexity AI.

It’s actually stands out as a research tool, offering access to a wide range of sources such as academic sources, Wolfram Alpha, YouTube, Reddit, and news.

Even if you’re using the free version, this tool can give you answers from the web or generate text or chat, saving you from having to search through search engine results.

Plus, Perplexity AI doesn’t just stop at answers – it also gives you related questions and references, which can make your research process a lot more efficient.

So, to sum it up, if you’re looking to dive deep into a topic and produce detailed content without relying too much on references, go for ChatGPT.

But if you’re looking to save time and get quick, to-the-point answers from different sources without having to click on every search engine link, Perplexity AI could be the perfect solution for you.

Perplexity AI Pricing

Perplexity AI offers both free and paid plans. You can totally get started with the free plan which is accessible to everyone, but it doesn’t come with any fancy premium features.

Now, if you’re looking for more power, there’s the Perplexity Pro paid plan. It costs $20 per month or $200 per year.

Perplexity AI Pricing Screenshot

With Perplexity Pro, you get some awesome perks.

Not only do you have access to the best AI models out there like GPT-4 and Claude-2, but you also get extra copilot usage, dedicated support, and unlimited file uploads.

If you’re just looking to do some research, the free plan is more than enough. But if you want those advanced features and extra support, the paid plan is totally worth it.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s Perplexity AI in a nutshell!

It’s an incredible tool that can truly supercharge your research process.

It’s like having your own personal research assistant right at your fingertips, ready to dive into the vast sea of information and help you make sense of it all.

With Perplexity AI by your side, you can boost your productivity and achieve better outcomes in your research endeavors.

Don’t just take my word for it – give Perplexity AI a try!

Perplexity AI Guide
You may also be interested in:
Photo of author

Minosh Wijayarathne

A content marketer and storyteller at heart. I have a deep interest in anything related to crafting better content, increasing productivity, and being happy.

Leave a Comment