Today, Yelp unveiled its latest innovation: an AI-powered chat interface designed to streamline the process of connecting consumers with businesses that meet their needs. The move puts Yelp among the many entities using AI chat solutions as an additional tool.

This new assistant is being integrated into the Yelp iOS app in the Projects segment and is expected to expand to Android platforms later this year. Using OpenAI’s sophisticated language models combined with Yelp’s large database, this chat service asks users about their requirements and suggests qualified specialists accordingly.

Yelp Introduces an Innovative AI Assistant to Facilitate Business Connections
Users can now directly voice their concerns in the chat, which can ask additional questions to fully understand the issue, including postcode requests to tailor the search. Users are then notified of professionals ready to tackle their project, with the option to interact with personalized messages or the app’s quick response feature.

In addition, Yelp is introducing a “Project Ideas” feature to inspire users to start new things, potentially driving them to search for different services through Yelp. Currently, offers cover topics such as home maintenance, lighting upgrades and outdoor enhancements. This feature will improve over the year with personalized recommendations and checklists.

“Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way people discover and connect with local businesses,” said Craig Saldanha, Chief Product Officer, at Yelp. He emphasized that Yelp Assistant greatly simplifies the process of finding the right service provider, thereby reducing the effort for consumers and providing valuable lead information to professionals.

At this time, Yelp has no immediate plans to extend its AI chat service to restaurant openings. Akhil Kuduvalli Ramesh, senior vice president of products at Yelp, told TechCrunch that the company is exploring ways to expand its use of the language-based search engine on its platform, including the ability to help users find restaurants and other services in the future.

In addition, Yelp hinted at an upcoming feature that will create video compilations using user-supplied photos, videos and details with the help of AI. The Yelp Fusion API is another initiative that allows third-party websites to integrate AI-enhanced business search functionality. This allows you to send requests for specific needs, like finding a vegan brunch spot for the weekend, and the chatbot will offer suggestions along with Yelp ratings, prices, top reviews, and visual content.

Companies interested in experimenting with this feature can access the Fusion API for a 30-day trial. It currently supports simple request-response interaction, with plans to adapt to more complex conversations later. Yelp previously offered the Fusion API, which allows companies including Amazon and Apple to integrate Yelp data into their services. Introducing this chatbot enriches the interaction by providing an element of conversation.

Yelp is also improving its Guest Manager service for more than 11,000 restaurants, improving operational efficiency, real-time table monitoring and communication between shift managers. For diners, Yelp promises more accurate wait times and text updates, as well as future features that include food recommendations sent via text before they sit down. Yelp is also improving the design of its self-service kiosk to make restaurant check-ins easier.

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