Amazon is reviewing whether Perplexity AI improperly scraped online content

Amazon is reviewing claims that the artificial intelligence startup Perplexity AI is scraping content — including from prominent news sites — without approval.

Amazon spokesperson Samantha Mayowa confirmed Friday that the tech giant was assessing information it received from the news outlet WIRED, which published an investigation earlier this month that said Perplexity appeared to scrape content from websites that had prohibited access from such practices. Perplexity uses servers by Amazon Web Services, otherwise known as AWS.

Amazon’s “terms of service prohibit abusive and illegal activities and our customers are responsible for complying with those terms,” Mayowa said in a prepared statement. “We routinely receive reports of alleged abuse from a variety of sources and engage our customers to understand those reports.”

The San Francisco-based AI search startup has been a darling of prominent tech investors, including heavy hitters such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. But in the past few weeks, the company has found itself in hot water amid accusations of plagiarism.

Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas has offered a robust defense of the startup after it published a summarized news story with information and similar wording to a Forbes investigative story. It did so without citing the media outlet or asking for its permission. Forbes later said it found similar “knock-off” stories lifted from other publications.

Separately, The Associated Press found another Perplexity product invented fake quotes from real people.

Srinivas said in an AP interview earlier this month that his company “never ripped off content from anybody. Our engine is not training on anyone else’s content,” in part because the company is simply aggregating what other companies’ AI systems generate.

But, he added, “It was accurately pointed out by Forbes that they preferred a more prominent highlighting of the source.” He said sources are now highlighted more prominently.

A spokesperson for Perplexity did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the AWS probe.


AP reporters Matt O’Brien and Sarah Parvini contributed to this report.

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