Perplexity's AI search could eliminate the need for follow-ups and beat ChatGPT at its own game

Perplexity AI
(Image credit: Perplexity)

Artificial intelligence-powered chatbot Perplexity has augmented its Pro Search tool for research as it endeavors to stand out from ChatGPT and other rivals in the increasingly competitive space. 

The upgrade makes the ‘conversational search engine’ better at math and programming, as well as better at handling multi-step reasoning. It also sees the integration of the Wolfram|Alpha engine, opening up new academic research opportunities.

Perplexity AI offers users two distinct search options. There’s Quick Search, which, as the name suggests, is designed for speed and accuracy based on cited sources. Pro Search is intended for more thorough, in-depth research, like hiring an expert research assistant to hunt data and explain it to you.

“Research shapes our daily lives. We use it to make informed decisions and solve problems—to innovate, learn, and grow. But it can be a time-consuming process, requiring hours of information gathering and analysis,” Perplexity explained in a blog post. “Pro Search has been our answer to this challenge, revolutionizing knowledge discovery by making research faster and more efficient than ever before. Now, we’re taking it to the next level.”

The upgraded Pro Search now provides even greater search results. When toggled on in the search bar, Perplexity will explore deeper and link to a broader range of sources, displaying its step-by-step process as well. Pro Search is accessible to all users, with a limit of five free uses every four hours. Perplexity AI also has a Pro subscription with much more access to Pro Search. 

Perplexity points to the newly advanced multi-step reasoning as a central pillar in the upgraded chatbot. The AI now understands when a question requires a multifaceted approach and works through goals step-by-step. The search AI doesn’t just bring back the results; it also analyzes them and takes action based on what it determines. 

So, for instance, it may conduct follow-up searches based on the earlier results as a way of making what the user sees as comprehensive and accurate as possible.

Perplexity Positive

On the math and programming front, Perplexity embedding the Wolfram|Alpha engine gives the AI the ability to solve complex mathematical questions very quickly and accurately. That's obviously useful not just for solving a single equation but for data analysis, whether in engineering, banking, or customer service.

Perplexity pitches the new version of Pro Search as offering benefits across various professions, in fact. The company suggests that attorneys can use the tool to pinpoint case laws, marketers can summarize trend analyses with it, and developers can debug code.  

"We have improved Pro search to tackle more complex queries, perform advanced math and programming computations, and deliver even more thoroughly researched answers," Perplexity wrote. "Whatever your profession, Pro Search empowers you to make more informed decisions."

You can check out Perplexity and try out the limited Pro Search here. Then, if you want, you can sign up for Perplexity Pro here and get more access to the Pro Search mode.

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Eric Hal Schwartz

Eric Hal Schwartz is a freelance writer for TechRadar with more than 15 years of experience covering the intersection of the world and technology. For the last five years, he served as head writer for and was on the leading edge of reporting on generative AI and large language models. He's since become an expert on the products of generative AI models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Anthropic’s Claude, Google Gemini, and every other synthetic media tool. His experience runs the gamut of media, including print, digital, broadcast, and live events. Now, he's continuing to tell the stories people want and need to hear about the rapidly evolving AI space and its impact on their lives. Eric is based in New York City.