SoftBank to Offer 1-year, Free Generative AI Search Service

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SoftBank’s logo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — SoftBank Corp. said Monday it will offer a search service using generative artificial intelligence free of charge for one year to subscribers of its smartphone services.

Users of SoftBank, Y!mobile and Linemo mobile services will be able to use an AI-powered search engine developed by U.S. startup Perplexity.

When people enter a question in text in the search engine, an answer will be provided in natural text based on the latest internet information with a reference that would allow users to confirm its reliability.

SoftBank will accept applications for the free-of-charge trial of the search service, which usually costs about ¥3,000 per month, starting Wednesday.

Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas told a press conference in Tokyo that the AI-powered search engine can allow users to swiftly obtain answers to questions and use the time to concentrate on other tasks.