Yelp Adds 20 Features Plus AI to Help Users and Businesses

Yelp is introducing more than 20 new updates to improve the experience for community members and business owners. Included are AI-powered summaries that make it easier to find businesses, an updated Yelp Elite badge for reviewers who are passionate about specific subjects, and a new visual home feed and search experience geared toward discovery. For those seeking services, the new “Request a Quote” and “Projects” features are available. Artificial intelligence will also power market and competitive insights for business owners, while AI-powered smart budgets provide recommendations to optimize ad spend, “helping local businesses grow.” Continue reading Yelp Adds 20 Features Plus AI to Help Users and Businesses

Amazon Launches ‘Your Books’ for Lists, Recommendations

Amazon has launched a new service called Your Books that allows customers to see all the books they have purchased, borrowed or saved across print, Kindle and Audible. In addition to serving as a reading history, the hub also serves personalized discovery suggestions designed to drive sales. “Simply type ‘Your Books’ in the search bar on the Amazon Store, and the top result will open the Your Books feature. Once there, the Library tab contains every book you have ever bought or borrowed from Amazon,” the e-retail giant explains. Continue reading Amazon Launches ‘Your Books’ for Lists, Recommendations

Bill Gates Imagines Agents as the Human-Computer Interface

Bill Gates has published his thinking about the future of computing, and fascinatingly, it’s the same as his prediction from decades ago: agents. No mere bots — and certainly not anthropomorphized paperclips — agents (to Gates) will abstract almost all HCI to a natural language conversation with systems that have our permission to take meaningful actions. Gates makes a highly specific prediction: within five years, the very idea of an app itself will seem as outdated as a rotary phone dial does next to an iPhone. A conversational UI will sit on top of a language model that has access to as much of our private data as we wish to give it. Continue reading Bill Gates Imagines Agents as the Human-Computer Interface

YouTube Premium Testing GenAI Tools for Long-Form Video

YouTube is testing artificial intelligence features with YouTube viewing Premium customers and the long-form video experience. Paid subscribers on mobile platforms who opt-in can participate in the two experimental tests for AI-assisted functions that include help with the comments section and a chatbot tool that lets viewers get answers to questions about videos and recommendations for related content. To help viewers “dive deeper into content” without interrupting playback, a conversational “Ask” icon will appear beneath videos in progress, inviting questions or letting viewers select suggested prompts. Responses include answers and related content recommendations. Continue reading YouTube Premium Testing GenAI Tools for Long-Form Video

Dozens of States Sue Meta for Social Media Addiction in Kids

Meta Platforms has been sued in federal court by 33 states including California and New York that claim its Instagram and Facebook platforms addict and harm children. The action is to date the most sweeping state action to contend with the impact of social media on the mental health of children. The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges Meta violates consumer protection laws by targeting children and deceiving users about platform safety. Also that day, the District of Columbia and eight states filed separate complaints addressing the same issues. Continue reading Dozens of States Sue Meta for Social Media Addiction in Kids

Spotify Offers ‘Merch Hub’ for Recommendations and More

Spotify has launched an in-app dedicated Merch Hub that will offer personalized purchase recommendations based on listening habits. Previously, the music streamer’s shopping opportunities were through artist profile pages as well as via the Now Playing view and new release pages. Now, “instead of having to browse artist by artist, this update makes it easier than ever to access all artist merch in one place,” Spotify says. Last year, the streamer reported “the highest-grossing merch sales week for artists in Spotify history” in its annual Wrapped report. Continue reading Spotify Offers ‘Merch Hub’ for Recommendations and More

Klarna AI Image Search Takes Aim at the E-Commerce Space

Swedish fintech company Klarna, whose online payments platform claims to work with 500,000 merchants worldwide, is debuting an AI-powered shopping lens. As with in-app lens tools from Google and Amazon, the Klarna lens lets shoppers snap pictures of items or styles then use its app to find out where to buy using a “search and compare” filter. Klarna claims its camera feature can visually identify over 10 million items and match them with more than 50 million store offers. “Klarna uses AI to translate the image into a search term,” turning it into “a shoppable item,” the company explains. Continue reading Klarna AI Image Search Takes Aim at the E-Commerce Space

Yahoo Spins Out Big Data Unit Vespa AI as Independent Firm

Yahoo is spinning out its Vespa platform, which leverages AI and data online at scale. The move is being positioned as an effort to make Vespa more widely available to third parties. After supporting Yahoo’s needs for 16 years, the unit in 2021 began serving external customers including Spotify, Wix and OkCupid for needs such as “searching millions of documents within a global organization, serving better data-driven online ads, or allowing AI-based language apps the ability to scale.” Yahoo says it will continue to invest in Vespa and remain its largest customer even after the split. Continue reading Yahoo Spins Out Big Data Unit Vespa AI as Independent Firm

Roku Adds New Search, Sports, Music Features with OS 12.5

Roku TV and the Roku player are getting new features including better search and discovery to complement its more than 400 free live linear TV channels. The upgrades will begin rolling out with the introduction of Roku OS 12.5 in the coming weeks. Highlights include the ability to follow a favorite sports team, new music channels and the ability to link Roku’s Photo Streams image-based screensaver to a Google Photos account, so personal pictures can be displayed between viewing events. The changes are across a wide range of features targeting sports enthusiasts and others, including technical purists and casual viewers who need help finding entertainment options. Continue reading Roku Adds New Search, Sports, Music Features with OS 12.5

Tubi Chooses ChatGPT to Power Content Recommendations

Fox Corporation’s Tubi TV video streaming service is rolling out a proprietary movie recommendation app called “Rabbit AI” in a beta test for iOS customers in the U.S., with other platforms to follow. Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, currently available only to enterprise and other paying customers, Rabbit AI provides “a new way to navigate” Tubi’s library of more than 200,000 movies and TV episodes, “providing hyper-personalized recommendations based on the contextual meaning of the terms,” the company says. A Rabbit AI plugin for ChatGPT is also now available to OpenAI subscribers, Tubi says. Continue reading Tubi Chooses ChatGPT to Power Content Recommendations

YouTube Debuts AI Creator Tools for Shorts and Mobile Video

YouTube announced a new AI-powered creator tool called Dream Screen and hinted at things to come at its annual Made on YouTube event last week. Rolling out on a test basis to select YouTube Shorts creators later this year, Dream Screen will generate “fantastic settings” for video backgrounds. YouTube says it will “eventually” allow creators to “instantly reimagine” their videos by typing an idea prompt that results in new content created with AI tools. The company also announced it will have AI-generated recommendations for video ideas and machine learning assistance with music track search. Continue reading YouTube Debuts AI Creator Tools for Shorts and Mobile Video

Spotify Lets Artists Pay to Get Home Feed Recommendations

Spotify is adding a new tool called Showcase that lets artists promote their work in the app’s homepage feed. Showcase “appears as a mobile banner at the top of Spotify’s Home — the most visited place on Spotify, where millions of listeners come to decide what to listen to, resulting in billions of streams each day,” the streamer says, adding that “people who see a Showcase are 6x more likely to stream the promoted release.” The banners will carry labels indicating a recommendation is sponsored. The company is also launching a marketing tool called Songwriter Promo Cards to assist with discovery. Continue reading Spotify Lets Artists Pay to Get Home Feed Recommendations

TikTok Shop Rolls Out to U.S. Users Following Year of Testing

TikTok had a high-profile at New York Fashion Week, courting the marketing departments of companies including Gucci, Madewell and H&M at a splashy event at the East Village restaurant Cathédrale, decorated with mannequins bedecked in TikTok-inspired togs and a video wall featuring the “little luxuries” touted by TikTok users. While TikTok has succeeded in making itself a mandatory advertising outlet for many brands, the Fashion Week outreach was part of the platform’s effort to transition to a sales platform in its own right as after a year of testing it finally rolls out TikTok Shop for all U.S. users. Continue reading TikTok Shop Rolls Out to U.S. Users Following Year of Testing

Intuit’s GenOS Spawns Its First Customer AI Product: ‘Assist’

Financial software giant Intuit is adding a customer-facing AI assistant to work with individuals and small businesses. Intuit Assist is being integrated across Intuit products starting with TurboTax and expanding to QuickBooks, Credit Karma and Mailchimp. Assist will be embedded across Intuit’s products via a common user interface, allowing customers to get personalized recommendations via contextual datasets. The generative AI assistant was built using Intuit’s Generative AI Operating System, a proprietary corporate model dubbed GenOS, launched in June. Intuit is working with OpenAI to accelerate GenAI app development on GenOS. Continue reading Intuit’s GenOS Spawns Its First Customer AI Product: ‘Assist’

YouTube Unravels Shorts, Demystifying Discovery Algorithm

YouTube has shared a video designed to demystify the algorithm that determines which Shorts get recommended, driving discovery and potential virality. Unlike TikTok and Instagram, YouTube didn’t reveal its top secrets by sharing specific details. In the Q&A presentation, Shorts Product Lead Todd Sherman answered frequently asked questions and emphasized the differences in how viewers consume content on Shorts versus YouTube. While the former involves swiping through hundreds of clips, flagship users are exposed to 10 or 20 videos and must proactively click or tap to play. Continue reading YouTube Unravels Shorts, Demystifying Discovery Algorithm