PYMNTS - Voice Technology - September 2023

Yelp Unveils AI-Powered Business Summaries


Online business review forum Yelp has added more (artificial intelligence) AI-powered search tools.

“For years, we’ve leveraged AI to help reduce consumers’ decision paralysis — from spotlighting the most popular dishes and drinks, to using LLMs (large language models) to power review highlights for more nuanced searches,” the company said Tuesday (Jan. 30) in a news release.

“Now, new AI-powered business summaries leverage LLMs to parse recent reviews and describe what you can expect at the business, helping you quickly find a business that fits your needs at a glance,” the company added.

The new AI offerings are part of a larger update to the platform, which also includes greater recognition of reviewers who “are passionate about a specific food, cuisine or nightlife category,” and updated search to make it easier to find service professionals.

In the case of the AI business summaries, visitors to the top of restaurant, food and nightlife business pages will quickly learn what the business is best known for based on first-hand reviews from users, “such as the atmosphere, service, amenities, value, or a popular dish,” Yelp’s announcement said.

According to Yelp, these summaries are available now for iOS users, and are scheduled to roll out to Android and desktop later this year.

Yelp introduced search capabilities using AI and LLMs last year, designed to help the platform better understand the nuances of customer searches.

“People often come to Yelp with high intent — LLMs provide Yelp with the speed and scale to quickly parse vast amounts of review data, so we can succinctly summarize insights in a meaningful way,” said Craig Saldanha, chief product officer at Yelp.

Elsewhere in the artificial intelligence world, PYMNTS examined Too Good to Go’s new platform, which uses AI to improve food management and boost grocers’ profit margins.

Chris MacAulay, the company’s U.S. managing director, told PYMNTS in an interview posted Tuesday that the platform makes recommendations to grocers on how to move products that might otherwise be tossed away.

“These types of solutions can be incredibly beneficial for companies to improve the business,” MacAulay said. “It’s a very challenging business where the margin is typically right around 2%. … You’re looking to optimize and improve your workforce behavior. You’re looking to optimize and improve your distribution. You’re looking to optimize and improve your pricing strategies. And I think when you put those things all together, that’s the biggest opportunity.”

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