Yelp launches new AI assistant for finding the right pros. Here’s how to access it. from Mashable

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Yelp is packing its platform with more AI features, including an AI assistant and “AI-stitched videos.”

On Tuesday, the OG crowd-sourced review site announced Yelp Assistant and TikTok-style videos that provide a breakdown of what people are saying about certain businesses like restaurants.

These tools add to Yelp’s growing collection of generative AI features, such as AI-powered summaries for restaurants and attractions, which launched in January. Large language models (LLMs) are known for their ability to analyze and summarize large quantities of data, making them ideal for parsing the plethora of reviews on Yelp business pages.

“AI enables us to transform the way people discover and connect with local businesses,” said Craig Saldanha, Yelp’s chief product officer.

Yelp’s AI assistant takes discovering and connecting with local businesses a step further by offering a conversational chat experience to help users find the right professionals in categories like “home, local, auto, beauty, pet, real estate, professional, event planning, financial services, and more,” according to the announcement.

Yelp Assistant will with your about your problem and even connect you with relevant professionals.
Credit: Yelp

How does the Yelp Assistant work?

When you start a chat with Yelp Assistant, it will ask follow-up questions to understand your project or problem, provide relevant businesses, and even draft and submit a detailed request to those businesses on your behalf, including inquiries about pricing and availability.

Based on the demo, Yelp Assistant says it searches for “sponsored local pros,” so if it only surfaces businesses that are paying for a placement, that might not be as useful since it doesn’t surface organic search results. Mashable has reached out to Yelp for clarification and will update this story accordingly.

Yelp Assistant may only surface sponsored businesses.
Credit: Yelp

Yelp Assistant can be found in the “Projects” tab. It’s now available in iOS and rolling out to Android later this summer.

Yelp also teased a tool that provides video summaries of businesses in the style that TikTok and Reels users are familiar with. Yelp will soon start testing videos that use AI to stitch together videos, photos, and AI voiceover sharing information and insights from user reviews.

Based on the demo, the result with its friendly muzak and fade transitions, is giving local ad with a limited budget vibes. But for such a text-heavy site, it might be a welcome change for the visually inclined.

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