Day 10 of 100DaysOfAI Research with Exa and Perplexity

Hello there!! 👋

Today you’ll be learning how AI-driven search can aid your research and discovery processes.

Let’s search 🔍

Task for the Day 📝
🧱 Project: Research & Discovery with AI-powered Search

⏲️ Estimated time: 30 minutes

🛠️ Tools: Exa, Perplexity

Context Building 🏔
Using Google and other search engines to find information has been a mainstay in many of our lives for the last 25 years.

Over the last 10 years, social media platforms have also developed as another medium for research and discovery.

…and right now, the way in which we search and discover new information is changing once again with AI-powered search.

AI-powered Search

Instead of a list of search results, AI search tools help you find what you need more intelligently. It’s no longer a case of needing to search, refine and sift through individual search results to find what you’re looking for.

AI search interfaces open up a new way to search and collate information, giving you a direct feedback loop with AI models that can make research and discovery even more intuitive.

Search is becoming conversational. The landscape is changing significantly, with traditional search engines like Google and Microsoft also adapting to put AI-powered search at the heart of their products.

Today you’ll be using two new AI-powered search and discovery engines, Exa & Perplexity.

Time to Cook 👩‍🍳
1️⃣ Read about Exa prompting techniques.

Before you start searching with Exa, take a read of this mini-guide. This will help you get a better output.

If you only remember one thing with Exa, it’s to search as if you’re sharing an answer, instead of asking a question.

For example, rather than asking Exa “How do I start a newsletter business?” a better prompt would be “This is the best way to start a newsletter business:”.

Additional tips:

By default, you should find that the “Improve my prompt” button is toggled to on. Keep this on!

Use modifiers to improve your prompt. For example, “This is the best step-by-step guide for starting a newsletter business:”

2️⃣ Prompt Exa with a topic you want to learn about.

Pop something you want to learn about into the search engine here.

Use Exa’s search filters to discover different formats related to your search. In this example, perhaps PDFs or Tweet threads (under the More menu) would also be useful.

3️⃣ Input a similar prompt into Perplexity.

Another new and popular AI-powered search tool is Perplexity.

A good way to learn about Perplexity is by asking, “What is Perplexity?”

Pop this prompt into Perplexity and read through the results. Take note of the page structure and the different types of information that’s presented back to you. Looks pretty different to a normal search engine, doesn’t it?

In Perplexity, you’ll find extra context, features and information including:

⚡️ Structured summaries of information related to your search

📃 Clearly labelled sources, so you know exactly where this information has come from

🔄 The chance to rewrite your response using different AI models

💬 A chat functionality that allows you to ask follow-up questions related to your search

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