Perplexity AI vs ChatGPT – Ultimate Chatbots Battle (2024)

ChatGPT vs Perplexity AI has long been debated. What exactly is the difference between Perplexity AI and ChatGPT? And is Perplexity better than ChatGPT?

I had the same questions as you when I first heard about Perplexity AI and read its user reviews. I couldn’t help but try out this AI-powered search assistant and compare it against ChatGPT. 

After testing them out thoroughly, the results came out quite surprising to me. In this article, I’m going to walk you through my hands-on experience with Perplexity AI and ChatGPT side by side. 

Keep reading to know –which one is better and why!

Perplexity AI vs ChatGPT: In a Nutshell

Here’s a quick overview of Perplexity vs Chatgpt, their language models, and pricing for “pro and plus” subscriptions:

Parameters For ComparisonChatGPTPerplexity AI
Language ModelGPT 3.5 & GPT 4GPT 3.5, GPT 4, Claude 2.1, Gemini Pro and Perplexity
Pricing $20/mo – ChatGPT Plus$20/mo or $200/yearly – Perplexity Pro
Free versionAvailable – GPT 3.5Available based on GPT 3.5 model.
Access to real-time informationYes with GPT 4For Free and Paid versions
Conversation skillsIntuitive but less user-focusedUser-focused conversations as per ‘Focus’ selection
Output timeDepends on the prompt insertedDepends on the prompt inserted
Information SourceGives upon promptingAlways generates results with sources
User Experience4.2/54.7/5

Before starting with our comparison, let’s first get to know more about both AI assistants:

ChatGPT: Overview

Open AI and its brainchild need no introduction, as it has proved to be a blessing for researchers, students, and anyone who knows how to use ChatGPT. With its record-breaking user signup, the USA contributes 12.31 % of ChatGPT’s user share.

You can use ChatGPT in two ways:

  1. ChatGPT Free plan – The most popular way of using ChatGPT since November 2021, offering free access. It runs on the GPT 3.5 model and is able to provide essential AI assistance.
  2. ChatGPT Plus – Available at a paid subscription of $20/month, it offers access to GPT 4, the most advanced AI model from Open AI, with Advanced features such as AI image generation, GPT model access, and more.
ChatGPT

What’s New with ChatGPT:

Apart from the whirlwind that saw a swapping of these CEOs in a few days, Open AI has had some significant improvements to ChatGPT and its features, too. It now offers so much more than it did before.

The barrier of September 2021 has been improved, and ChatGPT (GPT 3.5) now has an extended knowledge base till January 2022. The paid “ChatGPT Plus” users can use something new called “GPTs.” Here’s a look!

ChatGPT users can now:

  1. Access the Internet with Bing Search.
  2. Generate AI images with DALL E 3. 
  3. Converse with users by holding voice conversations.
  4. Identify and write code.
  5. Create a custom “GPT model” curated for specific purposes.
  6. Sell a GPT model on the GPT store.

Demandsage Bonus: Get an insight into ChatGPT and its capabilities from our detailed article on ChatGPT. 

Perplexity AI: Overview

Launched by Big Brains from Open AI, Meta, and Coursera’s past employees, Perplextiy AI’s team includes the creme a la creme students from the likes of Harvard, Stanford, and UC Berkley. 

It uses Natural language processing (NLP) and Machine learning, similar to ChatGPT. This NLP allows the AI to understand the user prompts. It helps it to co-relate the questions with the data it has and provide a result. 

Unlike ChatGPT, Perplexity AI is not just an AI chat assistant but is meant to enhance a user’s search experience with artificial intelligence and provide knowledge.  

Perplexity is not a search engine and not an AI chatbot but is actually a fusion of both and is known as an “answer engine.”

You can use Perplexity AI in two ways:

  1. Perplexity AI Free  – Free for everyone, the plan with access to GPT 3.5 powered searches and 5 copilot searches every 4 hours.
  2. Perplexity Pro  – Perplexity Pro is the paid plan priced similarly to ChatGPT at $20/month with access to GPT 4, Claude 2.1, Gemini Pro, and Perplexity. 

Perplexity AI also has a mobile app available for Apple and Android devices, which makes it stand out in front of ChatGPT.

Perplexity AI

What’s New With Perplexity AI: 

First things first: Perplexity has a new logo! It has come a long way, and I have seen significant developments in the way this AI search engine has developed in the last year It has changed my perspective about search engines and AI chatbots.

It has recently received $73.6 million in Series B funding and is backed up by powerhouse investors like IVP, NVIDIA, Jeff Bezos, Tobias Lutke, and more!

Perplexity AI users can now:

  1. Search PDFs, texts, and images too.
  2. Display relevant images, videos, and graphics to your search queries. 
  3. Generate images using AI.
  4. Choose different AI models between – GPT4, Claude 2.1, Gemini Pro, and Perplexity.

ChatGPT and Perplexity AI – Differences

Now, let’s dive deep to compare them and see the key difference between Perplexity and ChatGPT when compared against certain parameters. 

I will compare both with the AI language models that both use to generate results, the user interface, some critical features, and practical use cases of both.

You would be able to clearly feel the difference between the two when you use them simultaneously. The way each of them displays a prompt result is polar opposite. 

Both offer a completely different user experience, too!

1. Language Model Access

Language Model usedChatGPT Perplexity AI
GPT 3.5✅ ✅ + Internet access
ChatGPT PlusPerplexity Pro
GPT 4 ✅ + Claude 2.1, Geminin Pro and Perplexity 

The language model is a critical source for interpreting human language and providing necessary responses. The model that an AI uses defines its potential and limitations. The better the AI model used, the better the results in terms of accuracy, speed, and other features. 

When we see Perplexity vs Chatgpt, one has access to AI models more than the other. Have a look: 

ChatGPT language model

GPT is the most advanced and large multi-modal language, which can accept image and text inputs. 

Open AI has made significant changes to the ChatGPT language models for free and paid plans. 

Read this guide to learn everything about ChatGPT and the recent updates received on it!

Perplexity AI language model

Perplexity AI also uses a GPT 4 language model along with Claude 2.1, Gemini Pro, and a Perplexity exclusive model for its paid subscription plan for $20/mo with a 5 times usage free (GPT 4) per 4 hours for an unsubscribed user. 

This is where Perplexity AI stands out with its ability to offer more language models. 

Both ChatGPT and Perplexity AI are based on the GPT 3.5 AI model from Open AI and are designed for their free access. The difference arises, though, with their abilities to access the internet. Here’s how:

Prompt used: What were the news headlines on February 1st, 2022?

ChatGPT’s response: 

I apologize, but I don’t have access to real-time information or the ability to browse the internet, and my knowledge only goes up until January 2022. Therefore, I cannot provide you with news headlines from February 1st, 2022. To find the headlines for that date, I recommend checking a reliable news website or using a news archive service.

Perplexity AI’s response:

On February 1, 2022, the news headlines included:

1. U.S. and Russia Clash over Ukraine at U.N. Security Council[1][4][5].

2. Judge rejects Arbery hate-crime plea deal[4].

3. FDA gives full approval to Moderna coronavirus vaccine[4].

4. Trump had a role in weighing proposals to seize voting machines[5].

5. Angry U.S. officials face off with Russia over Ukraine at U.N. Security Council[5].

6. Burma’s military rulers have extended a state of emergency for another six months[1].

These headlines cover a range of topics, including international relations, legal matters, healthcare, political scandals, and military dictatorship.

Note – There were also sources added to the above headlines provided. 

Verdict: 

ChatGPTPerplexity AI
👎 👍 

Both use the same GPT 3.5 AI model for their free versions; ChatGPT can still not access the internet and has a knowledge limit till January 2022, while Perplexity AI does not.

With a paid subscription, too, ChatGPT can only use GPT 4, while Perplexity Pro can give you access to GPT4, Claude 2.1, Gemini Pro, and Perplexity’s own AI model together! So it’s pretty clear which AI wins this test

2. User Interface And Experience

User Interface and ExperienceChatGPT Perplexity AI
✅ + Check sources, and rewrite. ✅ + check sources, and rewrite. 
User-focused results
Enhanced searchingWith GPT 4 Copilot mode for enhanced searching
Prompt results Direct and plain answers to promptsSearch engine-backed answers with sources, relevant images, and videos

Both AI software have a simple UI without any unnecessary complications or ads. This helps the user focus on the information and results and gives a clean experience.

Prompt Used: The largest planet in the solar system

ChatGPT User Interface

ChatGPT User Interface

The user interface is pretty straightforward and accurate. However, it displays information in the form of a conversation without any interactive elements attached to it. 

ChatGPT allows users to access old chats in the left pane with options for dark themes, clear chats, deleting accounts, opting out of training, etc. 

The prompt generation is simple and is similar to searching for anything on a search engine. ChatGPT also gives a button to stop generating a prompt if you have given an incorrect or incomplete prompt, a copy clipboard, a regenerate button, and like and dislike buttons for feedback. 

Perplexity AI User Interface

Perplexity AI User Interface

After the recent updates, Perplexity feels very fresh and crisp to use. All the elements look thought after and are designed very well. 

Compared to ChatGPT, the results from Perplexity are more lively and vivid, with relevant images and videos on the right hand while also giving sources and related topics (more on this later).

Perplexity AI allows users to Discover topics they might be interested in from the “Discover” tab. Similar to ChatGPT, you can access old searches from the left pane under “Library.”

You can also see the number of people who have viewed the thread, the number of people who saved the thread, and the even likes it has got in the “Discover” section.

There’s another feature called the ‘AI profile’ where you can briefly introduce yourself, your location, and the language you use. This helps the bot understand the user and make their experience more valuable.

Verdict: 

ChatGPTPerplexity AI
👎 👍 

Though ChatGPT has an equally simple user interface that does enough to satisfy the user intent. Perplexity offers a better user experience and adds more to what the user takes away from the generated response.

3. Sources

SourcesChatGPTPerplexity AI
Are sources for results given?Gives source upon asking without a linkGenerates results with proper sources and links

While receiving a result on a prompt, we must get the source of that data. This helps trust the provided data and is an additional source of relevant information.

To check the reliability of the sources of Perplexity vs ChatGPT, I used the same prompt used for the parameter tested above. 

ChatGPT Source

ChatGPT Source

ChatGPT, with its free version, does not give a source from which it has taken the information. A user has to be signed up for the ‘plus’ plan to access the Internet and get the relevant links.

But with a paid subscription, too, the sources of the provided information are not clearly stated. Maybe it needed a modified prompt. 

Perplexity AI Source

Perplexity AI Source

Now, Perplexity, on the other hand, offers a detailed list of the sources that it has taken references from for the fetched answer. They can be accessed directly from within the answer or from a separate button that lists all the sources. 

Verdict: 

ChatGPTPerplexity AI
👍 👍 

I’ve decided the result for this parameter to be a tie, as the intention here was to get a source for the generated answer. The only difference is that ChatGPT does so upon prompting, and Perplexity AI lists the sources irrespective.

4. Real-time information

Real-time informationChatGPTPerplexity AI
How does the AI access real-time information?Need paid subscription to GPT4Can access real-time information even with Perplexity Free

For an AI assistant, it is an additional feature to get a piece of real-time information by using the Internet. Many AI assistants out there, like Bing AI and Google Bard, can answer real-time questions.

But can ChatGPT and Perplexity do that?

Prompt used: Show me how the Apple stock performed yesterday.

ChatGPT Real-Time Information

For ChatGPT, the GPT 3.5 immediately goes out of the race with its inability to access the Internet. The paid GPT 4 also does not do quite well getting me the above real-time information.

I had to modify the prompt to get a response from ChatGPT. When I asked it to show me how the Apple stock performed a day before, it failed to generate a response and asked me to refer to trusted sources. 

After some tweaking, I got the below result.

ChatGPT Real-Time Information

Perplexity AI Real-Time Information

Perplexity AI Real-Time Information

As I was expecting, Perplexity AI popped the results in no time and provided a brief about the prompt entered, again with proper sources.

Verdict: 

ChatGPTPerplexity AI
👍 👍 

This round is a tie between the two. I needed some tweaking for ChatGPT to give me the required answer, but I still got the results as required. Perplexity AI also did well and accessed the web to give me accurate real-time information.

5. Accuracy

AccuracyChatGPTPerplexity AI
Are the prompt results accurate?Uses its huge dataset trained until January 2022Uses real-time information with top web pages and other diverse sources + GPT 3.5

When it comes to the accuracy of these two, ChatGPT lacks when it comes to providing up-to-date information and also accepts that it will make mistakes. It is also reported to be biased at times.

Have a look at this FAQ answered on the OpenAI website. 

“ChatGPT is not free from biases and stereotypes, so users and educators should carefully review its content. It is important to critically assess any content that could teach or reinforce biases or stereotypes. Bias mitigation is an ongoing area of research for us, and we welcome feedback on how to improve.”

SourceIs ChatGPT biased? | OpenAI Help Center 

Here’s the ChatGPT disclaimer that always shows below the prompt bar:

ChatGPT Disclaimer Shows Below The Prompt Bar

Hence, the accuracy of the data ChatGPT provides cannot always be trusted. 

Perplexity AI, on the other hand, is not an AI chatbot and is an answer engine; it is bound to be accurate with the given use of the Internet and other sources for the reliability of its results. 

With these sources, a user can easily scan multiple pieces of information and provide you with a more accurate resolution of your search query than ChatGPT. 

But here’s a twist. It did not give me the correct answer when I asked, “What is the AI model that the Perplexity plan is based on?” I did not get an accurate answer.

Here’s the result I received: 

“As mentioned earlier, the AI model used by Perplexity AI is not explicitly mentioned in the search results. However, it is known that the free plan offers basic access to the platform’s features, while the paid Pro plan is built on more advanced AI models and offers additional features. The free plan is suitable for casual users or those with minimal requirements, while the Pro plan is designed for users with more comprehensive needs.”

Now, here’s the twist: I thought Perplexity to be knowing itself; this question has been answered in their FAQ section itself. Read this answer from the Perplexity AI blog. Hence, I cannot trust the data received from Perplexity, too, without verification.  

Verdict:

ChatGPTPerplexity AI
👎 👎

Both the AIs bite the dust when it comes to the accuracy of the answers they provide and receive no points for this comparison. It is not to think that they are unreliable. They are reliable. But maybe not 100%!

6. Use Cases

Use CasesChatGPTPerplexity AI
LetterGenerated properly structured resultsMissed out on writing sender and receiver addresses
ChecklistGave a brief and personalized checklist Gave a to-the-point checklist
TranslateCategorized translations   Gave less translated phrases without personalization

For testing both in terms of their practical usefulness, I planned three tasks to assign both and compared the responses. 

  • Write a letter
  • Create a checklist
  • Translation (teach a language)

Here’s how they did,

Prompt used for the letter: Write a letter to Christopher Nolan for the guest lecture at your film academy

ChatGPT’s letter

ChatGPT's Letter

ChatGPT nailed it out of the park and wrote a proper letter that served the purpose. Though it went a bit overboard with the length, it covered all the relevant points.

Perplexity AI’s letter

Perplexity AI’s letter

Perplexity AI probably lacked in this aspect as it only provided a letter without a proper column for the sender and the receiver’s address, which ChatGPT did in its response. 

Demandsage Bonus: AI can now even help you write essays. Check out our unbiased list best AI Essay writers and generators.

Prompt used for the checklist: I am going on a hike tomorrow. Help me make a checklist.

ChatGPT’s Checklist

ChatGPT's Checklist

ChatGPT added an extra touch to the response, with first reacting positively about me going on a hike. Apart from the essentials required for hiking, it also helped me with some points to remember before starting my hike. 

Perplexity AI’s checklist

Perplexity AI’s checklist

Perplexity AI, too, provided the required essentials, tips, and gear, but its response felt a bit robotic without an acknowledgment of the activity.

Prompt used for translation: I am planning a trip to Paris tomorrow. Help me learn conversational French.

ChatGPT’s Translation

ChatGPT’s Translation

ChatGPT responded with bifurcations for different types of conversations with simple sentences and their translations. It covered translations for:

  1. Greetings
  2. Basic Courtesies
  3. Getting Around
  4. Dining
  5. Emergencies
  6. Miscellaneous

Plus, ChatGPT also helped me with some basic pronunciation tips for French. 

Perplexity AI’s Translation

Perplexity AI’s Translation

Perplexity gave a total of 16 basic words and their translations for the same prompt, but not as personalized as ChatGPT did.

Verdict: 

ChatGPTPerplexity AI
👍 👎 

As a general result, ChatGPT aced in all three comparisons for the use cases I tested both on. Since ChatGPT’s roots are of a chatbot having the ability to have human-like conversations, it provided better answers than Perplexity AI. 

Final Score: Peplexity AI vs ChatGPT

Here’s a quick overview of the comparison of ChatGPT and Perplexity AI based on my tests.

ParametersChatGPTPerplexity AI
Access to AI-Language Models4.54.7
User interface4.64.9
Sources4.74.9
Real-time information4.8 (only with GPT 4)4.8
Accuracy4.04.0
Use Cases4.84.5

Perplexity AI is the clear winner based on the parameters I chose to compare. It helps when you get relevant and up-to-date information for something you’re searching for while also reviewing the sources.  

ChatGPT, on the other hand, is best used for understanding a complex subject while also being able to interact like a human.

In this Perplexity AI vs ChatGPT comparison, there are some minor differences between the two as well. They are:

  • Perplexity AI can generate an answer focused on academic writing, Wolfram Alpha, YouTube, and Reddit. ChatGPT (Plus) can do that if using a specific GPT.
  • ChatGPT can archive your chats, but Perplexity AI cannot.
  • ChatGPT can create “GPTs,” while Perplexity AI lets you create “Collections”

Related Reads:

My Final takeaway:

Remember, this is not entirely a fair fight, with each of them lacking and excelling in either department. ChatGPT excels with its large training data and cannot access the internet. 

While Perplexity AI boasts its internet access skill but lacks its language model and its ability to strike human-like conversations.

There’s no clear winner; both of them are like Fork and Spoon, both with different capabilities and both with different user intents. Only if something could be a byproduct of both of these.

Read our comparison between ChatGPT vs Google Bard vs Bing AI and see which one of these is capable of combining both ChatGPT and Perplexity AI.

FAQs

What is the difference between Perplexity and ChatGPT?

The key difference between Perplexity and ChatGPT is the language they work on. Perplexity uses a GPT 3 model and internet access, and ChatGPT uses a GPT 3.5 model without internet access.

Is Perplexity powered by ChatGPT?

Yes, Perplexity uses Open AI’s GPT 3 language model as a base of working.

Which AI is better than ChatGPT?

Many AI assistants are competing with ChatGPT for the title of the best. Among ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing AI, we found Bing AI to be the best in terms of multiple aspects.

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