Richard Socher, the founder of You.com, acknowledges that his company has always been the underdog in the search engine space, going up against giants like Google and Microsoft. However, Socher is always proud to point out that You.com built a search engine based on generative AI back in December, several months before the other major search players made their announcements. Now, the company is taking that head start and building on it with multimodal search, which allows the addition of various elements beyond text to provide more precise answers to users queries.
For instance, if users ask "Which company has the most CRM market share?", they will receive the answer "Salesforce”. If they follow up with "What is Salesforce's stock price?", they will be presented with a stock chart rather than a text-based answer. Socher notes that this approach is a much more effective way to answer these kinds of questions, and that multimodal search can be applied to other requests depending on the context.
So, he describes his company as more ahead of the curve than other well-known candidates. Also, he says “Instead of making up a bunch of numbers, which every other language model would do, we`ll just show you our stock app right there inside the conversation”.
The founder claims getting large language models is the most important to be multimodal in various senses of existing modalities such as codes, texts, graphs, interactive elements, images, and so on.
You.com was launched at the end of 2020 with the aim of creating a search engine based on AI that was more user-focused and open than its competitors. Socher wanted the company to be the "anti-Google" and to build a search platform that emphasizes serving user needs directly through You.com apps rather than bombarding them with ads.
Now, he doesn't want to share the information about the company`s search technology outside, fearing others can use it. But still, he is looking forward to opening the secret in the future.
The company is growing by double-digit percentages every month, and millions of people use the site daily. Regarding monetization, You.com is considering several options, including private ads, subscriptions to add-ons, and opening the platform for building third-party apps as stock apps with stock chart displaying. Third-party apps are part of monetization. As the owner explains people can allow such applications to sell services and in case when they are relevant to the consumer, the company will get a cut of that.
Socher believes that You.com has found a way to differentiate itself from its competitors by building something unique while capturing most of what people want from a search engine.
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