Neeva launches AI-powered search engine service internationally

Neeva launches AI-powered search engine service internationally

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As ChatGPT continues to sweep the world, Neeva Inc., an ad-free subscription-based search engine that will deliver substantive information with the power of generative AI, today announced that it’s launching its AI-based service internationally.

This announcement shortly follows the launch of its AI offering in the U.S. last month, which provided customers an immediate glimpse into what the search engine could do with access to free or subscription accounts.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI that can answer questions based on large amounts of training data and it’s also capable of generating new content based on feedback. This could be especially useful for search, where users often have an abstract idea about what they’re looking for, such as “Tell me about what stores where I can buy red bouncy balls nearby,” or “What happens during the grunion run?”

“AI is already beginning to make search one of the first and most clearly disrupted industries,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, founder and chief executive of Neeva and a former Google LLC search executive. “Our goal has been to responsibly integrate AI and provide authoritative answers that you can trust.”

According to the company, ChatGPT’s GPT-3 large language model and training data are out of date, it ends in 2021 and this is problematic for many searches. To transform search and AI, Neeva created its own AI model that dives into pages in order to summarize them, crawl through links and process relevance back to the user in almost real time.

The objective is to deliver the most relevant searches but without a page of blue links and summaries that are currently expected in the search industry today.

Instead of a parade of links, Neeva’s search engine provides summarized answers with citations directly embedded, which makes it act more like a real-time encyclopedia search. Its model also attempts to constantly update, meaning that it tries to keep the most up-to-date information from the web, although not all of its queries do so all the time. Each part of the text delivered in a summary has a citation number and it’s possible to hover over it to see the source, which gives it a better sense of authenticity.

If Neeva’s AI stack isn’t capable of returning a generative response, however, it does fall back on the traditional search display that users are most familiar with.

Neeva launched in the U.S. in 2021, and in Europe in late 2022, building up its niche ad-free and subscription-based search to tackle the search engine market. The company is currently using its large, independent search index of billions of pages to train its AI model which is constantly expanding by millions of pages a day. The company says this keeps its search results timely, fast and relevant.

As for the search engine’s underlying business model, the company believes that subscription is superior to advertising because coherence and privacy are paramount to the search experience. Foremost, users won’t need to scroll through sponsored links to get to relevant information and they will not be tracked by advertisers during their search. Currently, the company offers free, basic and premium subscriptions.

Competition to dominate the search space using generative AI has reached a fever pitch during 2023. Microsoft invested $10 billion into OpenAI and began to integrate a ChatGPT-powered upgrade into its Bing search engine. Google unveiled its own generative AI search tool dubbed “Bard” earlier this month. Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. announced plans to launch its own ChatGPT rival for Chinese markets.

Neeva currently supports more than 2 million users globally and its AI capabilities are available to users of all tiers in an English language version now available in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, as well as local language versions in Germany, France and Spain.

Image: Neeva

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