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Perplexity plagiarizes Wired story about Perplexity

June 21, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Tim Marchman of Wired magazine writes about how artificial intelligence company Perplexity plagiarized a Wired story that called the company a “bullshit machine.”

Marchman writes, “After we published the story, I prompted three leading chatbots to tell me about the story. OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude generated text offering hypotheses about the story’s subject but noted that they had no access to the article. The Perplexity chatbot produced a six-paragraph, 287-word text closely summarizing the conclusions of the story and the evidence used to reach them. (According to WIRED’s server logs, the same bot observed in our and Knight’s findings, which is almost certainly linked to Perplexity but is not in its publicly listed IP range, attempted to access the article the day it was published, but was met with a 404 response. The company doesn’t retain all its traffic logs, so this is not necessarily a complete picture of the bot’s activity, or that of other Perplexity agents.) The original story is linked at the top of the generated text, and a small gray circle links out to the original following each of the last five paragraphs. The last third of the fifth paragraph exactly reproduces a sentence from the original: ‘Instead, it invented a story about a young girl named Amelia who follows a trail of glowing mushrooms in a magical forest called Whisper Woods.’

Read more here.

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