Search engines enlist AI to browse the internet for you

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The Future. New AI-powered search tools from Perplexity and The Browser Company’s Arc Browser are poised to reshape how people look for information online. Although this functionality could make going to websites a thing of the past, publishers that host high-quality commentary or analysis might become the only ones worth visiting.

Personal researcher
A new generation of search engines wants to help you find what you’re looking for without having to actually use a search engine.

  • Perplexity and Arc Browser either already have or are working on tools that generate summaries for search queries, contain a menu of accompanying media, and list the reputable sources where they pulled the information from.
  • In Perplexity’s case, the tool even has a feature called “Copilot,” which prompts users with suggestions to continue narrowing their search in order to pull the best and most relevant information or filter the info to specific sources.
  • And it can do more than answer questions — for example, if a user wants to make a reservation at a restaurant, Arc Browser’s tool sends users directly to the appropriate page, instead of giving them a link to click through.

The companies behind both tools are still small (yet growing thanks to investment from some big names), but they seem to provide a roadmap for where the search industry is going.

With many Gen Zers also turning to TikTok and Instagram as news sources, there’s a chink in the armor protecting Google’s once impenetrable market share.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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