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Perplexity partners with Vercel, opening AI search to developer apps

Perplexity AI is going all in to expand its reach. The California-based startup, which is working to take on the likes of Google and Microsoft with its AI search and native discovery engine, has announced a partnership with web development platform Vercel.

The move allows developers using Vercel to integrate Perplexity’s large language models into the applications they plan to develop on the platform – essentially using them as a knowledge support system.

It comes as the latest effort from Perplexity to expand its presence in the AI domain and establish itself as the powerhouse for knowledge discovery.

The company previously announced engagements with different AI hardware companies to take its technology front and center on their products. However, it is not the only AI player integrating with Vercel’s offering. AI voice company ElevenLabs and seven other startups are also teaming up with Vercel.

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How will the Perplexity integration take shape?

Formerly known as ZEIT, Vercel is a cloud platform providing services to help developers build, deploy and host web applications, including those centered around AI—like recommendation systems, chatbots for customer service and generative services.

To enable these use cases, the company provides an AI SDK or an open-source library that allows developers to build conversational streaming interfaces in JavaScript and TypeScript while integrating the model of their choice. This is paired with a generative UI platform to bring the final vision to life. 

While this SDK already supported models from companies like OpenAI and Mistral, Vercel is giving teams more options to work with. This is where the Perplexity integration comes in. It gives developers a chance to access Perplexity’s API for online LLMs — pplx-7b-online and pplx-70b-online.

The company calls these online LLMs as they use knowledge from the internet without any cut-off date, giving users the latest information when forming a response. This makes them suitable for applications targeted for time-sensitive queries, like providing scores from a game that happened last night.

“Our in-house search, indexing, and crawling infrastructure allows us to augment LLMs with the most relevant, up-to-date, and valuable information. Our search index is large, updated on a regular cadence, and uses sophisticated ranking algorithms to ensure high-quality, non-SEOed sites are prioritized. Website excerpts, which we call “snippets”, are provided to our pplx-online models to enable responses with the most up-to-date information,” Perplexity notes in its blog post about the online LLMs.

Notably, this is not the first effort from Perplexity to push its knowledge discovery AI front and center across a product. The company recently announced a partnership with Brilliant Labs to bring real-time answers into their AI-enhanced glasses, enabling users to ask about anything they see in their line of sight. 

Then, a couple of weeks ago in January, it partnered with Arc to make Perplexity the default search engine on its browser as well as Rabbit to use Perplexity as one of our key LLM services for r1.

Other AI integrations coming on Vercel

While the integration with Perplexity will help developers build new AI apps, it is not the only model coming to Vercel. The front-end development player also announced similar integrations with the models from ElevenLabs, Modal, Replicate, Anyscale, Fal, Together AI and LMNT.

“This SDK is like an ORM for any AI model you want to use, whether it’s for text, images, and soon audio,” Vercel notes in a blog post.

In addition to the new models, the company also announced that it is launching an AI playground for developers. This will enable them to try out different models, see their responses – be text, images or audio – right in the dashboard and then decide what works best for their targeted use case.

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