Perplexity Enhances AI Search Engine with Direct Yelp Data Integration

Perplexity Enhances AI Search Engine with Direct Yelp Data Integration

Perplexity, the AI-driven search engine, has taken another step in enriching its local search capabilities by integrating Yelp's data into its platform. This move aims to provide users with more comprehensive and reliable information when searching for local businesses, particularly restaurants and cafes.

This integration will allow Perplexity to provide users with detailed information on local businesses, including maps, reviews, photos, and more, directly within the chatbot interface.

Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity, explained the motivation behind this move in an interview with The Verge. "Our underlying motivation is that we started off as this tool that appealed to people doing fact checks and research. But research can be on anything, like what if you're a coffee addict, you'd want to know where the good coffee shops are," Srinivas said. He emphasized that many people are now using chatbots as regular search engines, making it essential to offer relevant information directly from reliable sources.

The integration of Yelp's data is part of the company's Fusion program, which licenses data to third parties. Chad Richard, SVP of business & corporate development at Yelp, explained by email, "By integrating our highly trusted and rich local data into Perplexity, we're able to provide their users with reliable local search results."

Perplexity's decision to partner with Yelp is also driven by the desire to provide a variety of ways to present answers to users' queries. The inclusion of maps, photos, and review quotes from Yelp's data allows Perplexity to offer a more comprehensive and engaging user experience compared to other chatbots like Copilot, Gemini, or ChatGPT.

While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, Perplexity confirmed that it will not use Yelp's data to train any models. The company currently utilizes existing models such as GPT and Claude 2 for its chatbot.

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This deal leverages surging investor appetite for opportunities in the AI space. As models like ChatGPT and Anthropic continue to capture headlines, many startups are trying to leverage the AI boom in some capacity to inflate their value.

Perplexity is not the only AI company seeking partnerships to access up-to-date information. Google reportedly has a $60 million per year deal with Reddit to access real-time data and use it for training AI models. OpenAI has also signed agreements with news publishers like Axel Springer to obtain data for training purposes.

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ChatGPT will now provide summaries of recent news articles published by Axel Springer’s media properties, which include influential publications like Politico, Business Insider, Bild and Welt.

Perplexity's AI search engine has quickly risen in popularity within the AI community as it dares to challenge Google's dominance in the web search market. Looking ahead, the startup plans to explore more integrations like the one with Yelp. The company already works with the answer engine WolframAlpha for mathematical computations and is considering potential partnerships with providers of shopping and financial data.

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