Home Technology Yelp’s Assistant chatbot will do all the talking to help users find service providers

Yelp’s Assistant chatbot will do all the talking to help users find service providers

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Yelp’s Assistant chatbot will do all the talking to help users find service providers

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As Yelp tries to remind users it’s more than just a place to find a new restaurant to try, it’s launching the Yelp Assistant, an AI chatbot that “contextually” understands what users are looking for and can match them with service professionals in their area.

If you want to replace your bathtub, the chatbot will ask questions like what type of bathtub you want and which features you’re interested in, then suggest a couple of nearby bathtub installers. People have the option of writing their own messages to selected businesses or having Yelp Assistant make one for them. After you review the final project request (generated based on what you asked for in your chat session), the bot can send it to service providers on your behalf, which Yelp says can result in better and more accurate price quotes.

Yelp Assistant helps find professionals for most services.
Image: Yelp

Yelp says the chatbot also works with other services like massage therapists, pet care, real estate, or financial services. Yelp Assistant, powered by large language models from OpenAI, is available now in the iOS versions of its mobile app and will roll out on Android this summer.

Yelp has added other generative AI features already, like the AI-powered review summaries of restaurants and nightlife businesses that it launched last year. It’s also used AI to surface more content and photos on the app’s home feed. 

In addition to Yelp Assistant, the company is also updating its Yelp Fusion AI API, an API that connects Yelp’s data to third-party platforms. While it used to connect user reviews and data, Yelp Fusion API allows partner companies to integrate natural language search of Yelp’s database. Currently, it only supports single question-and-answer conversations, but Yelp says a longer conversation string will be available later this year. 

The AI search platform Perplexity added Yelp’s content to its search results through the Yelp Fusion API. The updated Yelp Fusion API is now available to Yelp partners, while non-partners can trial the service for 30 days. 

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