HomeWinBuzzer NewsForbes Criticizes Perplexity AI for Unauthorized Content Use

Forbes Criticizes Perplexity AI for Unauthorized Content Use

Perplexity AI continues to receive criticism over its revenue model, with Forbes doubling down on a previous complaint of plagiarism.


Forbes has recently called out Perplexity AI, an AI search company, for allegedly replicating its content without due credit. The dispute revolves around an article on Eric Schmidt's drone company that Forbes claims was copied by Perplexity in an AI-generated podcast. Forbes was part of a group of news services that criticized Perplexity last week, and has followed up its complaint with a full feature. 

Revenue-Sharing Initiative

Perplexity AI is working towards establishing revenue-sharing agreements with well-known publishers. Dmitry Shevelenko, its chief business officer, hinted at forthcoming announcements regarding these partnerships. Unlike , which pays media outlets upfront for using their archives to train AI models, Perplexity proposes a model intended to offer continuous revenue through recurring payments. Although, it is worth noting that OpenAI has had its fair share of issues from publications it does not pay. Whether that is news groups or entities such as the New York Times

The accusations stem from Forbes journalists Sarah Emerson and Rich Nieva, who discovered a similar version of their article on Perplexity following its initial publication. The mirrored Forbes' wording and illustration but lacked appropriate attribution. Forbes Editor-In-Chief Randall Lane and Executive Editor John Paczkowski have criticized Perplexity for misleading readers by not providing proper credit.

Perplexity's Response and Adjustments

In response to the backlash, Perplexity has updated its interface to emphasize citations better. Shevelenko indicated that these changes were implemented quickly. Perplexity AI was founded in 2022 by Aravind Srinivas, Denis Yarats, Johnny Ho, and Andrew Konwinski. The company has secured over $100 million in venture capital and is currently seeking to raise an additional $250 million, with a target valuation of $2.5 billion to $3 billion. The Pages feature is center of the AI, allowing users to create visually appealing content from prompts.

Reed Albergotti from Semafor suggests that Perplexity's new feature positions it closer to news aggregation services than original journalism. He pointed out that content plagiarism has been a longstanding issue in , often overlooked if articles include source links. Albergotti believes that Perplexity's revenue-sharing model could provide a viable alternative to the current model based on clicks, realigning the financial motivations with journalistic objectives.

Ongoing Debate

Confronted by Forbes, Srinivas downplayed the issue as a “product feature” with “rough edges,” without removing the story or issuing an apology. While Perplexity later modified its blog post formatting to better highlight sources, complete attribution within the text remained absent. Srinivas defended Perplexity by claiming it was a notable referral source for Forbes, a claim disputed by Forbes, asserting Perplexity provides negligible traffic.

The situation highlights ongoing ethical concerns about AI use in journalism and the potential risks associated with its governance. The involvement of prominent investors like Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, adds complexity to the dialogue on AI's role in journalism and its broader implications for democracy.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.