How To Use Perplexity AI For Research - Terrifyingly SMART!

Andy Stapleton
26 Feb 202413:50

TLDRThe video script introduces Perplexity, an AI tool designed for academic research and more. It highlights the platform's simple interface, Co-pilot feature for refining queries, and Focus mode for tailored searches. The user demonstrates finding recent academic papers, summarizing content, and extracting information from images. Perplexity's ability to handle various AI models and its image recognition capabilities for research purposes are also showcased, emphasizing its potential as a powerful research assistant.


  • 🌟 Perplexity's simple interface is reminiscent of ChatGPT, with a focus on academic research capabilities.
  • πŸš€ The Co-Pilot feature in Perplexity asks clarifying questions to ensure precise answers to user queries.
  • πŸ” Perplexity Pro offers 600 co-pilot searches per day, while the standard version provides five.
  • 🎯 The Focus feature allows users to tailor their searches to specific areas like academic, writing, and other platforms.
  • πŸ“š Perplexity can identify and provide review papers from a broad or specific academic field based on user instructions.
  • πŸ“ˆ The AI can refine search results based on follow-up questions, improving the relevance of the literature provided.
  • πŸ“Š Perplexity's ability to analyze and interpret images, such as schematics and figures from research papers, is highly advanced.
  • πŸ–ΌοΈ Users can upload images or PDFs for Perplexity to summarize or extract information, with the option to exclude these from training data.
  • πŸ“ The AI can assist in creating a narrative from figures in a draft paper, aiding in the organization of research stories.
  • πŸ“° Perplexity can summarize key points from uploaded papers, offering a convenient way to grasp the essence without extensive reading.
  • πŸŽ₯ The AI can identify and provide additional resources, such as related YouTube videos, enhancing the research experience.

Q & A

  • What is the initial impression of the Perplexity interface?

    -The initial impression of the Perplexity interface is that it is very simple and familiar, especially for those who have used chatbots like ChatGPT.

  • What is the purpose of the Co-pilot feature in Perplexity?

    -The Co-pilot feature serves as a companion that helps refine the user's queries by asking clarifying questions to ensure the user gets the most accurate and relevant answers.

  • How does the Focus feature work in Perplexity?

    -The Focus feature allows users to narrow down their search to specific categories such as academic research, writing, web searches, and more. It helps in tailoring the search results according to the user's interests.

  • What are the benefits of being on the Pro plan with Perplexity?

    -On the Pro plan, users get access to 600 Co-pilot searches per day, as opposed to the standard plan which offers only five searches per day.

  • How did the user refine their search for review papers on transparent electrodes?

    -The user refined their search by specifying that they wanted review papers from the past couple of years, focusing on the field of chemistry and material science.

  • What was the user's reaction to the initial search results for review papers?

    -The user was initially not fully satisfied with the search results as they were looking for more recent papers. However, they appreciated the ability to refine their search further.

  • How did Perplexity handle the user's request for recent papers on nanomaterials for transparent electrodes?

    -Perplexity successfully provided a list of recent papers from 2023 and 2022, which aligned with the user's request for up-to-date research in the field.

  • What settings can Pro users adjust in Perplexity?

    -Pro users can adjust various settings including the AI model they use, image generation options, and whether their uploaded content is used for training the model.

  • How did Perplexity assist the user in understanding a complex image from a paper?

    -Perplexity analyzed the image, identified key components such as arrows and text, and provided a detailed explanation of the process depicted in the image, including the fabrication of composite materials.

  • What additional feature did Perplexity offer in helping the user create a story from figures in a draft paper?

    -Perplexity helped the user construct a coherent narrative around the development, characterization, and evaluation of composite materials, based on the figures provided, without needing any additional context.



πŸ€– Introduction to Perplexity and Co-Pilot

The speaker introduces the Perplexity platform, highlighting its simple layout and the availability of an AI companion called Co-Pilot. Co-Pilot aids users in refining their queries for more accurate results. The speaker discusses the Pro version's benefits, such as 600 Co-Pilot searches per day, and demonstrates how Co-Pilot can assist in academic research by asking clarifying questions and providing well-formatted answers from various sources.


πŸ“š Tailoring Research with Focus and Recent Papers

The speaker elaborates on the Focus feature within Perplexity, which allows users to tailor their searches to academic, writing, or other specific sources. They share their experience of searching for recent papers on transparent electrodes, demonstrating how Perplexity's Co-Pilot refines the query and delivers relevant academic sources. The speaker also discusses the ability to ask follow-up questions and the platform's capability to provide recent papers in response to user prompts.


πŸ–ΌοΈ Enhancing Research with Vision and Storytelling

The speaker explores Perplexity's Vision feature, which enables users to upload images for explanation and understanding. They share an example of interpreting a complex schematic and how the AI can deduce the process from the image. The speaker also discusses how Perplexity can assist in creating a coherent story from figures in a research paper, emphasizing the platform's ability to construct narratives and suggest future research directions. Additionally, they mention the option to prevent uploaded images from being used in the AI's training model.




Perplexity, as mentioned in the script, refers to an AI platform that is designed to assist users in various tasks, including academic research and understanding complex information. It is characterized by its simple layout and the ability to answer a wide range of queries. The platform's main theme revolves around enhancing knowledge acquisition and simplifying research processes.


Co-pilot is a feature within the Perplexity platform that acts as an interactive assistant to the user. It asks clarifying questions to refine search queries and provide more accurate results. It enhances the user experience by ensuring that the platform understands the user's intent and delivers relevant information.


Focus is a feature in Perplexity that allows users to tailor their search to specific categories such as academic research, writing, or even social media platforms like YouTube and Reddit. This customization helps users to filter information and find content that is most relevant to their interests and needs.

πŸ’‘Academic Research

Academic research is a systematic investigation or study that establishes facts and reaches conclusions through methodology. In the context of the script, it refers to the user's need to find scholarly articles and review papers to support their PhD research. The Perplexity platform aids in this process by providing access to academic sources and summarizing key points.

πŸ’‘Transparent Electrodes

Transparent electrodes are conductive materials that allow light to pass through them. They are a crucial component in devices like touchscreens, solar cells, and organic optoelectronic devices. The script discusses the user's search for academic literature related to advancements and research in this field.

πŸ’‘AI Model

An AI model refers to the algorithms and computational frameworks that artificial intelligence systems use to process data and generate responses. In the script, the AI model powers the Perplexity platform, enabling features like Co-pilot and the ability to understand and interpret complex images and texts.

πŸ’‘Image Generation

Image generation is a process where AI algorithms create new images from existing data or from scratch. In the context of the script, Perplexity's image generation capabilities allow it to interpret and explain complex schematics and diagrams, aiding users in understanding visual content from academic papers or research documents.


Summarization in the context of AI refers to the process of condensing longer texts into shorter, more concise versions while retaining the main points and essential information. The script highlights Perplexity's ability to summarize academic papers, helping users save time and quickly grasp the key findings.

πŸ’‘Peer-Reviewed Paper

A peer-reviewed paper is a scholarly article that has been examined and evaluated by experts in the same field before it is published to ensure quality and validity. In the script, the user is working on a draft of a peer-reviewed paper and seeks Perplexity's help in creating a coherent narrative from figures and data.

πŸ’‘Chat GPT

Chat GPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI, known for its ability to generate human-like text based on input prompts. In the script, it is mentioned as a comparison to Perplexity, highlighting the latter's unique features and capabilities in assisting with research and understanding complex information.


Perplexity's simple and familiar layout for users accustomed to chatbots like ChatGPT.

The Co-pilot feature that assists in refining search queries and asking clarifying questions for accurate results.

The availability of 600 Co-pilot searches per day for Pro users, and five for standard users.

The Focus feature that allows users to tailor their searches to specific categories like academic research.

The ability to refine searches to find more recent academic papers by asking follow-up questions.

The impressive performance of Perplexity in finding relevant academic papers.

The option to upload documents and images for analysis, with the ability to exclude these from training data.

Perplexity's capability to analyze and explain complex images, such as scientific schematics.

The powerful feature of creating a coherent story from a set of images, aiding in the writing of research papers.

The ability to ask Perplexity to summarize key points from a research paper uploaded as a PDF.

Perplexity's integration of information from both the uploaded PDF and online sources to provide detailed answers.

The option to access a range of AI models, including the latest from OpenAI, with a Pro subscription.

The feature to generate images and the inclusion of Pro Discord support and other Pro benefits.

The ability to instruct Perplexity to find specific papers based on recent research and performance criteria.

Perplexity's capacity to identify and discuss future research directions based on the content of images and papers.

The discovery of a YouTube video related to the user's research through Perplexity's search capabilities.

The overall ease and simplicity of using Perplexity for academic research and paper writing.