Yelp will use AI to tell you if that burger’s any good

Yelp is joining the wealth of platforms expanding their use of AI, as it’s rolling out a new feature on iOS that rounds up and summarizes user reviews in a blurb that appears near the top of a company’s Yelp page.

The new feature uses large language models (LLMs) to parse through user feedback to highlight “what the business is best known for based on first-hand reviews,” Yelp says. That may include a mention of a location’s atmosphere, popular dishes, amenities, and more. One example (as shown in the image at the top of this article) describes a restaurant as a “retro diner well known for its classic cheeseburgers and affordable prices.”

Yelp is bringing more visual content to its homepage on iOS.
GIF: Yelp

It sounds similar to what companies like Amazon and Newegg are doing to summarize reviews, but Yelp’s version is a bit less comprehensive as it doesn’t pick out any pros and cons cited by users.

Yelp senior vice president of consumer product, Akhil Kuduvalli Ramesh, tells The Verge the AI summaries will show up depending on a “reliable number of recent reviews” recommended by the software the company uses to highlight user feedback. The AI-powered summaries are only available for companies in the restaurant, food, and nightlife industries.

Yelp is bringing more photos to search, too.
Image: Yelp

Yelp is adding several other features to its iOS app as well, including a new home feed that uses AI to surface more content and photos related to local businesses. It’s also revamping search on iOS to incorporate more photos on the results page, such as carousels that show off foods for which users frequently search. This allows users to swipe through a carousel of photos showing popular dishes — like pizza, ramen, or tacos — from local restaurants when looking for something specific.

As for its Android app, Yelp is only rolling out the “surprise me” option it introduced on iOS last year. Users on Android devices have to wait until later this year to take advantage of AI summaries, overhauled search results, and the improved home feed.

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By asm3a