AI-Based Search Engine Can Make Google Look 'Legacy And Old'

Aravind Srinivas
CEO of Perplexity, former researcher at OpenAI

What entrepreneurs do best, is seek opportunities, and seek every chances to succeed by using the resources they have in their disposal. And billionaires are those people who have reached a high degree of financial success.

Many of these people can be considered pioneers in their respective industry, with influence that has far-reaching ends.

This time, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is making a big bet on AI, in order to compete directly with Google.

Bezos, regarded as one of the wealthiest self-made billionaires in the world, invested on Perplexity, a startup founded in August 2022 to offer an AI-based search engine that is "part chatbot and part search engine, offering real-time information and footnotes showing the sources of its answers," according to its website.

Here, it's said that an AI-based search engine has a chance to dethrone Google.

Aravind Srinivas.
Aravind Srinivas.

At least in terms of transforming the way people access information from the internet, as explained by Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas:

"Google is going to be viewed as something that’s legacy and old. Perplexity will be viewed as something that’s the next generation and future."

Google was amongst the pioneers in the AI field, way before OpenAI even come into existence. But when OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, Google was in a "code red" condition when it saw the massive success and quick rise of generative AI and Large Language Models.

Quickly, it developed its own chatbot, Bard, which managed to rival ChatGPT, within just months.

It later developed Gemini to show how focus it is in the business.

So here, to compete against Google is not an easy task for anyone or anything, let alone Perplexity.

In one year being founded, Perplexity has raised more than $70 million from a group of investors, including from Bezos.

But Google is a tech titan, and that its parent company, Alphabet, has a market cap of over $1.7 trillion. The search engine dominates online search with roughly 90% market share, and has pretty much fended off challengers.

To compete against Google, Perplexity wants to simply reimagine search.

"We are trying to reimagine the future of search by taking you all from consuming... links to anything you ask on a certain a typical search engine, to directly just getting a clear, personalized answer — cutting through all the noise on the web and saving you a ton of time."

"If you can directly answer somebody’s question, nobody needs those 10 blue links."

"We stand at the inflection point of a massive behavioral shift in how people access information online…The times of sifting through SEO spam, sponsored links, and multiple web pages will be replaced by a much more efficient way to consume and share information."

Perplexity is a miniscule, and can be considered nothing significant in the face of Google.

While Google knows that it faces danger, it's ubiquitous presence is practically unmatched, and that nothing in the search engine industry can come close to it.

It could only hurt it in the long run if people start using its search engine less and AI chatbots more as they look for things online.

To pursue this goal, Perplexity needs more than just selling subscription to its AI software. It needs to innovate better and faster than rivals.

Not only it has to compete with Google, because another tech giant, Microsoft, has incorporated OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 to create the Bing Chat AI into its Bing search engine, a distant second to Google.

The product was later renamed to Copilot.

Whereas OpenAI's ChatGPT is still the most popular AI chatbot, Anthropic’s Claude is also not far behind.