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AI-powered search engine Perplexity launches an AI-generated daily news podcast

Published Feb 26th, 2024 5:57PM EST
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Image: phonlamaiphoto/Adobe

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Perplexity, a still relatively new AI-based Google Search rival, is on a tear. For a start, the company raised over $70 million in January from top-tier investors, including Jeff Bezos. Following Perplexity’s launch last year, more than 10 million monthly active users are now flocking to the company’s clean, fast, and ad-free search experience. Perplexity has also just launched Discover Daily — a 100% AI-generated daily news podcast that managed to break into Apple’s top 200 news podcast in its first week.

The podcast, featuring episodes of no more than four minutes in length, feels like the perfect flex for a company eager to show off its increasingly robust AI prowess. The news summaries, for example, are read by a synthetic yet pleasant voice reminiscent of a BBC host (made possible by ElevenLabs’ customizable AI voice cloning technology).

The summaries are drawn from Perplexity’s curated “Discover” feed that presents a running list of the day’s key headlines — some of the latest such news items including Meta and LG collaborating on a new high-end VR headset, and Redditors expressing dissatisfaction with the company’s IPO. “At Perplexity,” the company explains in its announcement of the new podcast, “we pride ourselves on being the fastest and most accurate way to search the web.”

The announcement continues: “Discover Daily is a testament to our commitment to making knowledge more accessible and engaging. By leveraging ElevenLabs’ lifelike voice technology, we’re able to transform the way people consume information, making it possible to absorb curated knowledge in audio form — perfect for those on the go or simply looking for a more dynamic way to learn something new.”

Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas told me last month that the company doesn’t have to make a direct, frontal assault on Google or challenge its market share in order to succeed. “We are operating in a new segment of AI assistants, a segment where new businesses and products will continue to be created and expanded. In this arena, Google doesn’t have a monopoly.”

The company’s buzz, meanwhile, only continues to grow. Among Perplexity’s investors are two with ties to Google: Susan Wojcicki, the former CEO of YouTube, and Jeff Dean, Google’s Chief Scientist, focusing on AI advances for Google DeepMind and Google Research. Moreover, when Perplexity announced its Series B just days ago, it added that the company’s search engine had served a billion queries in 2023. An impressive start for a company that’s also done next to zero marketing.

Check out an episode of Discover Daily below:

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.