Perplexity Is a Bullshit Machine

Dhruv Mehrotra and Tim Marchman, of Wired, were able to confirm Robb Knight’s finding that Perplexity ignores the very instructions it gives website owners to opt out of scraping. And there is more:

The WIRED analysis also demonstrates that despite claims that Perplexity’s tools provide “instant, reliable answers to any question with complete sources and citations included,” doing away with the need to “click on different links,” its chatbot, which is capable of accurately summarizing journalistic work with appropriate credit, is also prone to bullshitting, in the technical sense of the word.

I had not played around with Perplexity very much, but I tried asking it “what is the bullshit web?”. Its summaries in response to prompts with and without a question mark are slightly different but there is one constant: it does not cite my original article, only a bunch of (nice) websites which linked to or reblogged it.