is what Google wished it was right now

With the massive popularity of ChatGPT recently, search engine company Alphabet/Google has gone “code red” and is kicking their DeepMind AI into high gear. Microsoft has dumped $10B into OpenAI’s ChatGPT to gain its revolutionary powers and lock it down from competitors. Don’t wait to wait for Google or Bing to get up to speed? Give Perplexity Ask a try.

Perplexity uses its own search engine, combined with OpenAI’s API. It is very fast, but it also suffers from the inaccuracies of the underlying AI tech from OpenAI, so be sure to fact check the responses as you would with ChatGPT. Perplexity has a way of helping you with that, though. They cite their answers!

With a traditional search engine, you end up with pages full of links for you to do your own research. This is very time consuming. Perplexity does all that heavy-lifting for you, giving you the answer right away, with citations.

This is extremely valuable to know where the answer actually came from. You don’t get this with ChatGPT’s answers. There also a “View List” link to expand the sources into a list, showing excerpts.

And just like ChatGPT, you can ask follow up questions. For example I can ask, “what is a NFT?”, then follow up with a related question such as “what is the average cost?”. It will give me the proper related answer—also with citations  When doing papers that require citations, this is especially helpful  You can’t do this with Google, or anything else I’ve found.

This is everything we hope to see in the big search engines like Google and Bing someday… but it’s available right now! It’s fast, free, doesn’t require a login, and doesn’t collect your user information unless you provide anything sensitive in your request. It’s brilliant! You can also use it as you would ChatGPT. So, if ChatGPT is too busy, you have another option.

How to make the default search engine in Chrome

I’m sure this is similar to other chromium browsers, but it’s quite easy to add another search engine to your browser and make it the default. To begin, right-click where you usually type in URLs and select “Manage search engines and site search”. You can also get to this same area by clicking the 3 vertical dots in the top right of your browser, then selecting Settings, then going to the Search Engine tab, then Manage.

Right next to the “Site search” heading on the page, click the Add button and fill it out like this:

Copy and paste from here:

Search engine: Perplexity

After adding the new search engine, be sure to click the menu button next to Perplexity and select “Make default”.

Now when you open up a new tab and type something into the URL bar, it will use Perplexity as your default search engine.

What do you think of Perplexity Ask? Please comment down below.

2/1/23 Update: Today they announced a Chrome plugin. It’s awesome! Get it here.



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