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Forbes editor accuses Perplexity AI of 'theft'

Perplexity AI has sought to downplay journalists’ fears that its new feature — “Perplexity Pages” — is explicitly designed to regurgitate original work wholesale with minimal attribution.

Forbes editor John Paczkowski took the AI start-up to task on X, saying did not even “bother to name us” when reusing key details from an investigative feature.

Bloomberg’s Shirin Ghaffary reports:

In a response, Perplexity Chief Executive Officer Aravind Srinivas said the issues were because the company’s “Perplexity Pages” feature, which offers summarized information about topics of the day in a magazine-like layout, is still new and has “rough edges.”
“The pages and discover features will improve,” he wrote, “and we agree with the feedback you’ve shared that it should be a lot easier to find the contributing sources and highlight them more prominently.” Srinivas also stressed that Perplexity’s main search product cites sources more noticeably.

Paczkowski was unimpressed with Srinavas’ response, writing:

[T]his story, which you pushed to users, is little more than plagiarism. There is no clear attribution, just tiny logos where our work is treated with the same weight as reblogs. It’s not “rough” it’s theft.

Distinct echoes of Google’s own summarize-via-scrape AI Overviews, here, which also stands accused of doing the same thing. Publishing lobbying group the News/Media Alliance is calling for government intervention.