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AI Startup Perplexity Adds Ex-Uber and Bing Execs as Advisers

Perplexity

Artificial intelligence (AI) startup Perplexity has added three new advisers.

They include Emil Michael, former chief business officer at Uber; Rich Miner, co-founder of Android and adviser to Google; and Mikhail Parakhin, former CEO of Bing, according to a Thursday (May 16) post on LinkedIn by Perplexity Co-founder and CEO Aravind Srinivas.

The three new advisers will help the AI startup “across search, mobile and distribution,” Srinivas said in the post.

Srinivas added that Michael will guide Perplexity’s growth, business and distribution strategies; Miner will help the company anticipate user trends and build more intuitive interfaces; and Parakhin will help it evolve its core answer engine, in-house search infrastructure and AI capabilities.

Perplexity, which aims to compete with Google’s search engine, raised $63 million in a funding round in April that valued the AI startup at $1 billion — a figure that marked a two-fold jump in valuation so far this year.

The company’s AI chatbot summarizes search results, offers citations for its answers and helps users hone their queries for the best responses.

Bloomberg reported in April that Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said he uses Perplexity’s product “almost every day.”

Srinivas told Bloomberg at the time: “We want to get Perplexity in the hands of every single company in the United States.”

The company’s AI-native search interface that shows citations and images in its responses has helped it gain traction. It currently has 10 million monthly active users.

Perplexity is one of many tech companies that are looking to capitalize on an anticipated behavioral shift in how people access information online — with AI aiming to make web search more intelligent and streamlined.

Srinivas said in a January blog post that the company’s unique advantage in streamlining search for users comes from using AI to provide direct answers, instead of web links, in response to search queries.

“The times of sifting through SEO spam, sponsored links and multiple web pages will be replaced by a much more efficient way to consume and share information, propelling our society into a new era of accelerated learning and research,” Srinivas said in the post.