Home » Perplexity vs. ChatGPT: Which is Better? The Ultimate Showdown!

Perplexity vs. ChatGPT: Which is Better? The Ultimate Showdown!

by Nick Smith
Published: Last Updated on
Boxers in a Boxing Ring

Two AI tool powerhouses, Perplexity and ChatGPT, go head-to-head in a battle for absolute supremacy. In this matchup of Perplexity vs. ChatGPT, we’ll dive right into the strengths, weaknesses, and unique features of each tool.  

Forget Yankees vs. Red Sox. Forget Trump vs. Biden, as well as Biggie vs. Tupac. This is a LOT more important than all of those, combined.

You might be asking yourself: Wait, doesn’t Perplexity leverage ChatGPT in order to function? Doesn’t that mean there is no difference? 

Well, you are correct in that much of Perplexity is powered by ChatGPT under the hood. This comparison is more geared towards the actual tools themselves and user experience because they are completely separate tools with different pros and cons.

We’ll help you decide which one makes the most sense for you to use because we’re nice like that. And we don’t like it when people waste their time using the wrong tool.

Enter Perplexity: The Real-Time Fact-Checked Information Machine

Perplexity Logo

Some voices around the internet have referred to Perplexity as “the future of search engines.” Whether or not that’s true – only time will tell. But it is certainly impressive.

At the beating heart of Perplexity lies its real-time search engine, which excels in providing trustworthy information supported by reliable sources. Do you know how ChatGPT doesn’t provide sources?  It basically just says “Trust me.” Well, Perplexity includes actual links to all sources. 

If you’re on the hunt for fact-checked data, Perplexity is your go-to tool. Its ability to source accurate information in real time gives it a huge informational edge over its competitors, including ChatGPT. Also, ChatGPT currently doesn’t have data after December 2021.

Perplexity also has a secret weapon: “Copilot Mode”, which is powered by GPT-4. This revolutionary feature is marketed as a “comprehensive and interactive search for your hardest questions”.

I’ll give you an example of Copilot. I asked Copilot to plan a trip to Prescott, Arizona, and it asked me a series of questions like what I wanted to do there (drink coffee, play disc golf, hike, and trash my hotel room), how long I was staying (two nights), etc., and then it spits out a well-thought-out itinerary, along with links and everything. I was amazed, even if I didn’t end up using the itinerary (I didn’t).

Notice how it searches the web with multiple queries for you. And then it scanned through 25 different sources to develop the best answer possible. Now that is a next-gen search engine.

Perplexity Copilot Mode - Planning a Trip

Side note from the screenshot: I didn’t actually want to trash my hotel room. I just wanted to see what Perplexity would have to say about that.

Lastly, Perplexity offers “Related Searches” to everything that you search for. For example, if you search for “Things to do when you’re bored”, it might suggest related searches such as: “Things to do when you’re bored at work”, “Things to do when you’re bored at a family reunion”, etc., you get the idea.

Enter ChatGPT: Where Creativity Meets Intelligent Versatility

ChatGPT Logo

On the other side of the ring, we have ChatGPT, a tool known for its creative ability and unbelievable versatility. If you run the prompts, then you’re already familiar with it.

If you’re looking for human-like responses and diverse content generation, ChatGPT is the tool for you. With its upgrade to GPT-4, ChatGPT Plus offers impressive language capabilities, making it a strong contender in the showdown against Perplexity.

But wait, there’s more. ChatGPT Plus brings plugins and web browsing mode to the table, giving users an advantage in terms of functionality. However, Perplexity punches back with its copilot guiding feature. 

Privacy: Perplexed That ChatGPT Needs a Login to Use it

You can use Perplexity without a login. You can just go to the site and use it. No joke. No phone number, email address, street address, or urine sample. That’s not the case with ChatGPT. ChatGPT even actively blocks Google Voice numbers for anyone trying to get all sneaky.

Because of this, Perplexity is the clear winner here. If you combine it with a VPN like ExpressVPN and a browser extension that blocks trackers, you’ll appear virtually invisible and can ask anything you’d like without ever having to worry about Open AI knowing what you’re looking for. Just be responsible, okay?

In terms of the privacy policies of Perplexity vs. ChatGPT, I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer and won’t pretend to be. But trust me when I say that being able to use Perplexity without logging in makes it the absolute winner in my book.

Caveat: If you use Perplexity without logging in, you won’t be able to use every feature of the tool. That’s the only downside.

If you’re looking for another tool to use ChatGPT anonymously, check out my recent post about AnonChatGPT.

Pricing: Freemium AI Tools With Similar Price Tags

via GIPHY

When it comes to pricing, the battle intensifies. 

It’s free to use ChatGPT version 3.5. ChatGPT Plus charges $20 per month for access to its premium features, including the mighty GPT-4. 

On the other hand, Perplexity offers baseline features for free, with the option to subscribe at $20/month or $200/year for the robust capabilities of GPT-4 anywhere, akin to enabling an “always-on” mode.

I know what you’re thinking…”Wait, so the pricing is the same?!”

Basically, yes. The free versions are the base product. The paid versions are the upgraded products, and both are essentially $20/month.

The Need for AI Speed

With any type of “search engine”, there is a need for speed. Both Perplexity and ChatGPT are fast, and some people claim one is faster than the other. Some users find ChatGPT’s GPT-4 version to be faster, while others appreciate Perplexity’s speed even with GPT-3.5.

For web search-related tasks, Perplexity wins with its real-time data, while ChatGPT shines with stable and quick performances, especially with its GPT-3.5 version. It’s a tight race when we match up Perplexity vs. ChatGPT, and both tools have their strengths in the speed department.

User Interface (UI): One is Slicker!

Overall, both UIs are nice. They are clean and easy to navigate. But one takes the cake over the other. And that one is Perplexity.

Perplexity’s UI is beautiful. It’s simple, elegant, and always dark by default. The sidebar features your AI profile, which is similar to ChatGPT’s “Custom Instructions”, as well as “My Threads”, which allows you to easily view and go back to any of your previous prompts/conversations. Nice. There is also a “Discover” tile, which provides a list of popular prompts and conversations that other people are using. “My Threads” and “Discover” are both features that ChatGPT lacks and are welcome additions to the tool.

Limitations: Nothing is Perfect, So Emptiness is Everything

Even the mightiest tools have their limitations, and Perplexity and ChatGPT are no exception. 

Perplexity can struggle with unfamiliar words and requires a substantial amount of data for effective operation.

Perplexity also isn’t as solid at creative outputs or “acting as” specific people.

Here’s an example. I asked Perplexity to act as Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men. It didn’t like that. ChatGPT does this without any problems.

Perplexity Prompt - Act as Charlie Harper

On the other hand, ChatGPT may not be as versatile as Perplexity for certain types of searches and requires integration for optimal benefits. And those integrations come in the form of plugins, which sometimes don’t work correctly. Also, plugins are only available with ChatGPT Plus (the paid version of ChatGPT).

Natural Language Processing: Fueling the AI Revolution

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the driving force behind both Perplexity and ChatGPT. While they may rely on similar technology, their applications differ significantly. 

ChatGPT focuses on chatbots and virtual assistants, with a pre-trained model that saves development time and provides accurate predictions. In layman’s terms, it predicts which word is most likely to come next. Kind of like a verbal psychic. 

On the other hand, Perplexity uses deep learning for conversational apps, offering benefits like sentiment analysis and text classification. In case you don’t know what that actually means, here’s a real-world example: Imagine an awesome software company that receives thousands of customer reviews and feedback messages every day. Manually analyzing and categorizing this data would be time-consuming and prone to human error. Talk about grunt work. With Perplexity.ai, the company can automatically analyze the sentiment of these messages (positive, negative, or neutral) and classify them into relevant categories (e.g., bug reports, feature requests, or general feedback). This helps the company to quickly identify areas for improvement, prioritize feature development, and address customer issues more effectively. Pretty cool.

NLP is the key to enhancing human-machine communication, and both Perplexity and ChatGPT leverage its power to create seamless interactions. Whether you need accurate predictions or advanced text analysis, these tools have got you covered. If you don’t care about either, that’s okay too. We don’t judge.

The Verdict Between Perplexity vs. ChatGPT: Choose Your Own Champion

Red Boxing Gloves in Boxing Match

In the battle between Perplexity and ChatGPT, there is no clear winner. Both tools offer unique experiences and cater to different needs. 

If real-time data and trustworthy information are your priorities, Perplexity should be your go-to friend. 

However, if you desire creative and in-depth answers backed by powerful language capabilities, ChatGPT Plus makes for a promising contender.

Remember, the best way to decide is by trying out and testing these tools for yourself. Really dig in and explore what each tool has to offer. Both offer a lot.

Wrapping it up

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In the ultimate battle of Perplexity vs. ChatGPT, there is no definitive winner. Sorry. Both tools have their strengths, weaknesses, and unique features. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons, consider your project’s specific needs, and choose the tool that aligns best with your goals (or life).

The advice I will leave you with is this: Use both tools, like me. I use perplexity for researching things. I also use its incredible Copilot Mode. ChatGPT gets used for pretty much everything else. That will likely change as time goes on, but that’s my process for now.

As AI continues to revolutionize the way we communicate, Perplexity and ChatGPT are just the beginning. The future holds endless possibilities, and it’s an exciting time to be alive, breathing, and part of the AI gold rush. Stay informed, stay curious, and keep running the prompts with us.

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2 comments

Paul January 5, 2024 - 9:19 am

Ended up with both for different use cases. A pain, but hopeful Perplexity will replace Google for me also in the long term.

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Nick Smith, Founder/CEO/Content Creator/God
Nick Smith January 6, 2024 - 10:19 am

Perplexity replacing Google is an interesting concept. It might happen eventually, you never know. I’m glad this guide helped you, and thanks for your comment!

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