Yext Hops on the Generative AI Train with Yext Chat, an Enterprise-Focused Chatbot – TechCrunch 2/15/23


Looking to cash in on the generative AI craze, Yext, the platform for online brand management, today announced an AI-powered chatbot called Yext Chat. Taking inspiration from OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Yext Chat is designed for enterprise use cases — and differentiated, Yext claims, by a partly proprietary back end.

“ChatGPT has shown the world that large language models can hold incredibly coherent, helpful conversations — far better than any technology up to this point. But right now there is no easy way for enterprises to harness this technology,” Yext president and chief operating officer Marc Ferrentino told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Yext Chat is designed for the enterprise, and enterprises need full control over what a chatbot says and does.”

To be clear, Yext Chat wasn’t built from scratch. It relies somewhat on OpenAI’s public API, specifically GPT-3.5, to generate text and dialogue. But Yext says that it’s using a mix of text-generating models for different tasks within Yext Chat’s workflow, like marketing, commerce and customer support.

When it launches (it’s not yet generally available), Yext Chat will be able to integrate into existing platforms, including ticketing systems and Slack workspaces. A hospital could use it to power a health system that educates prospective patients on which doctor they should see and get appointments scheduled, for instance. Or a merchant could use it to service retail customers, assisting them with checking on the status of an order or answering questions about a return policy. The list goes on.

This wide swatch of capabilities makes Yext Chat superior to rival enterprise-focused chatbots, like the recently debuted Jasper Chat, which rely on a single model, Ferrentino says.

“Going forward, we will likely use some combination of OpenAI’s models as well as homegrown models trained by our own data science team for specific tasks,” he said. “Our platform is model-agnostic: it can make use of models that we have trained and manage ourselves, or models provided by third parties like OpenAI.”…

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