You just had a wonderful meal at a new restaurant or maybe you got a great haircut. Perhaps the dry cleaner lost your order or the gallery that listed their hours online wasn’t open you stopped. All of these things are likely to end up on Yelp, a social media platform that runs on machine learning software. Yelp was founded in 2004 to allow users to post photos and reviews of businesses and services online.
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Anyone can access the Yelp website and read the reviews. There are subsidiaries in countries all over the world, but you must be a member and sign in to post reviews. Yelp uses machine learning software to handle image classification. This is perfect for collecting, categorizing, sorting and labeling the enormous amount of photographic images submitted to the site. There is simply no way the human staff could keep up with a task of that magnitude, which is where AI comes in.
Yelp began with reviews but has moved beyond that into other areas, such as personalized shopping experiences. AI creates a profile of users’ preferences in areas like diet, hobbies, lifestyle and other categories to identify what users want and makes suggestions based on that data. While some people object to giving out much information online, Yelp gives their users control over their data by allowing them to set up their own preferences and indicate how the data should be used.
Using AI, Yelp can create a personalized suggestion list that is different for each customer. A 40-year-old mother of two will get different suggestions than a 20-year-old single college student. Yelp doesn’t only rely on user preferences. The algorithms also feed in information like times when restaurants are open, unusually long wait times to be seated or whether or not children are welcome. This way customers needs are matched with the right business. The company also uses machine learning to create customized ads for users based on preferences. The more relevant the ad content appears to users, the more likely they are to click on the ad.
Yelp also uses AI to create a collection of Popular Dishes for each restaurant that is reviewed. This is a compilation of the dishes that received the best and the most reviews for that establishment. A feature like this helps customers make up their minds and improves turn over for the restaurant.
AI is rapidly replacing word of mouth when it comes to restaurant and business reviews. Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable sharing their information in order to get a personalized experience.