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Today, Algolia is very excited to launch our latest AI capabilities, moving us one step forward in our mission to help businesses of any size take control of how people search, discover, and find their products and content through a personalized and relevant experience.

We’ve always been looking to leverage the best technologies to solve the numerous challenges of consumer-grade search, including AI. But first, why is AI necessary for search?

Search is an ever-evolving puzzle

Search is a problem that can never be solved — it comes with a set of unique challenges that are always evolving. Every customer is different and even individual customer needs change over time, so there can never be a, “one size fits all” configuration for search & discovery.

There are four main reasons for that:

  • We all search in a “messy”, unpredictable way, as we use different words to describe the same things, make typos, etc.
  • We don’t all expect the same results for the same search.
  • The results we expect change over time. Just think about what people expect when looking for “masks” in 2019 versus today!
  • What might be the most relevant result isn’t necessarily the result businesses want to show first.

All of these challenges make Search extremely difficult to master. And fixing those challenges manually is impossible, as there are too many fast-changing parameters to take into account.

That’s why Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the perfect technology to apply and solve these search challenges.

All AI powered search are not equal

Until today, the options to apply AI to search were to build your entire search stack from scratch, or to purchase third party “AI search” solutions. Both approaches were insufficient.

For DIY, you need to gather the team with the right skill sets, infrastructure and tools to build your own AI models and apply them to your search.

On the packaged AI search solutions side, most are canned and difficult to customize. They give no control and visibility to businesses.

Enter Algolia AI

Algolia AI is a family of AI algorithms that addresses every dimension of the Search and Discovery experience.

First, It enables you to understand all types of users and searches. 

  • Natural Language Processing, allows Algolia to recognize searches in over 70 languages
  • Natural Language Understanding recognizes the intent and the entities in search requests, to run much more targeted searches.  
  • Dynamic Synonym Suggestions continuously optimizes the experience with AI generated synonyms, so no matter the words users use to describe an item, they will find it. 

“ABC being the largest news platform in Australia, our audience is very diverse. It makes it difficult to continuously connect our visitors to the right content across our 1M+ articles. Since using Dynamic Synonym Suggestions, we’ve seen our search greatly improving on www.abc.net.au

Peter Buffington, Product Manager at Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Once Algolia understands the users intent, the next step is to return the most relevant results. Algolia AI surfaces the perfect results for each search and user.

  • Dynamic Re-ranking, optimizes the ranking of results for each search based on past user behavior, highlighting the highest performing results
  • Personalization tailors the results for each individual based on their past behavior

“For a retailer like us with more than 25,000 products in our catalog, a solution that improves each of our users’ experiences along their search journey adds tremendous value. Algolia’s built-in personalization represents a real step forward in the digital era for Decathlon Singapore.”

Richard Migette, ecommerce project leader at Decathlon Singapore

Keep businesses in control

There will be cases when Algolia AI can’t replace humans. That’s why it is tightly integrated with our search and discovery management tools. It works with our custom ranking formula, so our customers can use margin, availability, user reviews or any other data to influence relevance, and can still merchandise any search using our Rules, and our Visual Editor. This way, business users always have control of the experience.

Finally Algolia AI allows you to bring your own AI, to combine the outputs of your data and custom-fit models with Algolia’s speed, relevance and flexibility to create great experiences for your users while optimizing for your business metrics, unlocking more returns out of your AI investments.

“Thanks to Algolia’s flexibility and its robust Rules API, we are able to combine our unique data science expertise to Algolia’s state-of-the-art textual relevance. This approach has delivered a considerable conversion rate uplift on our search and on Algolia powered Google Shopping landing pages.”

–  Etienne Desbrières, Senior Product Manager at ManoMano

One more thing … Algolia Answers! 

Today, we’re also announcing another Natural Language Understanding feature: Algolia Answers!

Algolia Answers combines Algolia’s tunable relevance with AI-driven natural language and real world understanding. Built on top of technology from Algolia and OpenAI, Algolia Answers addresses the most difficult natural language questions, finding not just an answer, but the answer that best responds to the searcher’s question. 

“We’ve seen great results from Algolia Answers on questions that are difficult to answer with textual search alone. It was able to return very relevant, evergreen content from our news archives for questions such as “Why does a volcano erupt””

Peter Buffington, Product Manager at ABC

Get started now!

Here is how to get started with our latest AI capabilities:

Natural Language Processing is already available on Standard and Premium plans, and Personalization on premium plans. Sign up to get started.

Dynamic Synonym Suggestions and Dynamic Re-ranking will be Generally Available for our Premium plan customers. But anyone can test them while they’re still in Beta! Sign up today to benefit from Algolia AI, or read the docs for Dynamic Synonym Suggestions and Dynamic Re-ranking. Finally, Algolia Understand and Algolia Answers debuted in closed beta. Click on the links to join the waitlist(s).

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