Quick Review of Perplexity and Other AI Search Engines

Quick Review of Perplexity and Other AI Search Engines

Artificial Intelligence Is Not Intelligent

Larry Neal Gowdy - Copyright ©2024 - March 19, 2024 - updated March 22, 2024

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As previously mentioned in SEO - Review of Search Engines' Results for Privacy and Quality, search engines are dependent upon the information that already exists online. Search engines have no capacity to know information that is not online, and since all AI engines rely on search engine results, then AI search engines cannot give better results than what the normal search engines provide.

Worse is that AI search results twist the collected data into a conversational dialog, of which removes pertinent information while presenting misinformation to the user (aka Chinese Whispers). Of all AI engines investigated in the past, all of them had similar behaviors of drawing information from popular websites, while ignoring all websites that had professional technical information. I myself will never use an AI search engine for any purpose other than chuckling at how bad the results are.

When learning of the Perplexity.ai AI search engine, I did a quick test of 20 search phrases (and took full-page screenshots of each result, to later be used for references). Without going into lengthy details, the results were not measurably different than any other AI engine: [1] the AI engine's results were pulled from gossipy websites that have no expertise in the topic searched for, [2] the results were horrendously bad because the websites themselves had merely copy-pasted-invented what other gossipy websites had said, and [3] the AI engine further twisted the gossip into a fairytale of falsehoods.

For fun, I asked "what is the voltage of 5 amps and 3 ohms?". Perplexity AI's results stated: "The voltage for a current of 5 amps and a resistance of 3 ohms can be calculated using Ohm's Law, which states that voltage (V) equals current (I) multiplied by resistance (R). The formula is V = I * R. Therefore, for a current of 5 amps and a resistance of 3 ohms: V = 5A * 3 Ω. V = 15 volts". I was a little surprised that the AI got the 15 volts correct, but, of course, the AI results stated the wrong information; ohm's law is E=IxR, not V=IxR.

Laughing, I then asked "if 240 watts and 120 volts then how many amps?" The AI search engine replied: "To calculate the amperage when given 240 watts and 120 volts, you can use the formula: Amps = Watts / Volts. Therefore, for 240 watt and 120 volts: Amps = 240 watts / 120 volts = 2 amps. Hence, with 240 watt and 120 volts, the current drawn would be 2 amps." Perplexity did not give the formula for power (P=IxE), which is okay if a person is merely wanting a quick answer, but the absence of the formula further illustrated that the AI was simply copy-pasting a thing that the AI 'knows' nothing about: gossip.

For both questions, the AI's copy-paste information was taken from online conversion calculators. Upon a quick investigation, I found over 50 websites (including Wikipedia of course) claiming that ohm's law is V=IxR. Wow! Anyone claiming ohm's law to be V=IxR just proved that they are unqualified to speak of the topic. In local junior high science classes, high school electrical classes, and college electrical theory classes, any student who wrote ohm's law as V=IxR would be immediately flunked. The gossipy copy-paste websites have no expertise, nor so much as a 9th grade education in physics, but those are the websites that all AI search engines collect their data from.

(Update March 22, 2024; this paragraph only.) Yes of course a lot of people do invent ad hoc excuses by claiming that using V instead of E is acceptable. Well, no, it isn't acceptable, not now, not ever, and not under any circumstances. One of the most worshipped names in the world is Albert Einstein; if it's okay to change ohm's law to V=IxR, then it is equally okay to claim that Einstein wrote "V=mc2". Yeah sure, go tell your friends that Einstein said "V=mc2", and then see how many friends you have left. And while you're at it, go tell all physicists to change 'E' to 'V' on all mathematical formulas. Sure, why not? Wikipedia and countless hundreds of other websites do it, and, so, therefore, since it has been peer reviewed, then it must be okay, right? The use of 'V' instead of 'E' proves that the authors are uneducated, unlearned, uncaring, and just flat alogicus-dumb (which applies to all AI search engines as well).

My Solar Panels Energy Power article from 2008 has E=IxR (as well as makes note of "amperes" instead of the slang word "amps"), but, of course, the page is not an ad-infested commercial web page, and so search engines purposefully ignore it.

A big happy smile was finding Fluke.com using E=IxR (Fluke is a professional company that sells high quality professional electrical equipment for professional electrical technicians). Electrical101.com also states E=IxR. (I really liked Electrical101.com's website; it's almost 20 years old, and the layout proves it.)

The moral of the story is that once again it is easy to see that over 90% of all websites (always filled with click-bait and spyware) have false information, and, those are the websites that search engines will give highest rankings to unless a site owner applies professional SEO (which is what I used to do for my own customers).

Worthy of a Loud Laugh

A few months back, I saw individuals on the Reddit Mensa sub talking about how AI was going to become more intelligent than people. LOL!! Okay, sure, maybe smarter than the Mensa High IQ people on Reddit, but definitely not smarter than the people who are intelligent enough to read physical books. The Mensa members' claim once gain proved that IQ is Irrelevant to Intelligence.

Speaking of IQ...

When searching for William James Sidis, yes of course Perplexity.ai copy-pasted-paraphrased the lies about Sidis that were copy-pasted-paraphrased from one website to another to another to another etc.. One of the alleged key 'proofs' of Sidis' intelligence is the claim that his The Animate and the Inanimate book was real smart for it speaking about the reversal of thermodynamics. Within the book Sidis stated (and quoted in the article Enlightenment is Merely the Absence of Hallucinations): "This work sets forth a theory which is speculative in nature, there being no verifying experiments. It is based on the idea of the reversibility of everything in time, that is, that every type of process has its time-image, a corresponding process which is its exact reverse with respect to time." Wow. Sure, people who have no experience with the topic, nor with physics, might assume that forward time can have an "exact reverse", but, believing the belief proves that the person does not so much as know what 'forward time' is. It is eternally impossible to 'exactly' reverse time; not even close to being possible. William Sidis' book is absolute and permanent proof that he was not the smartest man on earth; not even close.

Has to be said: some individuals knew more than Sidis even before they were born. It is insanely crazy for anyone to claim that Sidis was smart.

The Perplexity.ai search engine merely repeated the same misinformation that countless hundreds of other websites have falsely claimed. Unfortunately, a lot of people will believe the search results to be true truth.


As expected, the Perplexity.ai AI search engine's performance is par for all other AI search engines. On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest of quality and usefulness, my little test showed Perplexity to be ranked at about 1, which is what all other AI search engines are also ranked as.

The subscription-based search engine Neeva recently closed its doors. Perplexity has a free version, but pushes a paid subscription-based version that costs $200.00 a year (or $20.00 per month). The Internet is packed full of people who want everything for free, and as Neeva was not a success, I highly doubt Perplexity.ai will fare any better.

The last words remain the same: if you want information about a topic, then go ask a professional who has been doing the thing for 20+ years and is top ranked in his/her field. Asking a search engine or an ad-filled website for answers, guarantees wrong answers over 99% of the time.

Related articles are in the Computer section.