Another search breakthrough? You.com debuts AI that can answer multi-step questions


You.com, the AI assistant that pioneered conversational, multimodal search before tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and even OpenAI, is once again leading the way with its new “AI Modes” released by the company today. This time, the startup is the first to comprehensively solve complex, multi-step problems that have stumped all other popular chatbots.

The new AI Modes — Smart, Genius, Create, and Research — released today can provide varying levels of depth and sourcing to any queries. This reduces the need for elaborate prompt engineering from the person searching.

Most importantly, no other AI assistant has been able to understand and solve multi-step problems like You.com’s new Genius and Research modes.

“Our main focus is to deliver amazing answers that are accurate, fast, visual, conversational, and ultimately useful,” You.com CEO and co-founder Richard Socher said in an interview with VentureBeat. “Genius and Research Modes showcase our commitment to this vision and our ability to innovate conversational AI.”

Introducing AI Modes

Smart Mode, the default mode on You.com, works like other search chatbots and offers quick, accurate replies with live web access, citations and sources. You.com was the first consumer-facing large language model (LLM) in late 2022 to provide real-time access to the internet, allowing for up-to-date answers with sources and citations. This essentially means the base model of You.com includes up-to-date, accurate information.

Genius Mode — the standout in today’s update — offers new multi-step logical reasoning combined with data visualization including charts and plots, file uploads (PDFs, images, etc.) and AI image creation. This set of skills is currently unmatched in the market.

Genius Mode will not only answer your question, but it can also run a second command such as plotting the answers on a graph. It can write a bedtime story, and simultaneously create images for the bedtime story. Genius Mode allows users to pose deeply analytical questions, visualize insights through charts, reference documents through file sharing and illustrate conclusions with AI-generated images — all through natural dialogue.

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Credit: You.com

Create Mode transforms any concept into an AI image in an unlimited array of styles or a chart or plot. Envision it as a blank canvas solely dedicated to AI artistry. It eliminates the need for prompt engineering command inputs like “draw” or “create,” making the process more seamless and intuitive.

Research Mode excels in providing comprehensive yet digestible reports with extensive source citations and references, including for real-time news events. Leveraging You.com’s foundation in web search and indexing, Research Mode delivers more citations with links than any other AI chatbot for unparalleled accuracy and transparency. Additionally, its ability to create comparative tables makes it an ideal tool for tasks like decision-making.

One of the biggest breakthroughs of today’s release is the orchestration that happens between different LLMs behind the scenes during each query, even before a prompt is fully processed.

Socher told VentureBeat that the search engine combines its own natural language models with third-party models like GPT-3 and GPT-4, selecting the best model for each specific query. Socher noted that increased engineering around core language models will be crucial as they become commoditized.

“I think the answer here is also a sign of the times,” Socher told VentureBeat. “It used to be our own model, then we relied more on GPT-3, then we hear from people and begin seeing GPT-4 is better at coding and programming than other language models including open-source models… The answer is complicated.”

“At some point, other people will probably catch on and copy the idea of routing to different models, depending on the query,” he added.

Founders and top AI researchers drive innovation

Founded by leading AI research scientists Richard Socher and Bryan McCann, You.com aims to change the way people discover and engage with information online. Unlike traditional search engines that rely on keywords and links, You.com provides conversational, personalized, and continuously learning answers that adapt to each user’s unique needs and preferences through a chat interface.

You.com also emphasizes trust and transparency in its AI chat experiences, offering tailored responses based on users’ backgrounds, interests and preferences while respecting search privacy and ensuring transparent control over personal data.

You.com notably introduced the first consumer-facing LLM with access to the internet to provide up-to-date answers and include citations and recently debuted an AI agent that executes code to provide the most accurate responses to math and science questions. You.com’s API further enables other LLM-based chatbots to improve their accuracy with real-time web access.

The future of AI modes

You.com plans to continue to innovate and add new features and capabilities to its AI modes, as well as to its core technology and personalization engine. According to Socher, the company is also exploring the possibility of partnering with publishers and content creators to share monetization strategies and ensure fair use of their data.

“We want to make sure that this technology gets to really shine, and the way to do that is to actually focus on the accuracy,” Socher told VentureBeat. “[The industry] is doing cool things. But now it’s actually important that they’re not correct 70% of the time, but like, 95%, 99%, eventually 100% of the time. And that just takes a lot of extra work and engineering.”

All AI modes are currently free for everyone to try on You.com. While unlimited Smart Mode queries are available for free for anyone with an account, paid YouPro members will get unlimited access to all modes, as well as enhanced personalization and access to models like GPT-4 with live web access.

It is likely too early to say, but if past breakthroughs like multimodal search are any indication, then Richard Socher and You.com seem poised to once again usher the AI industry into the future with their latest innovation — AI modes that finally unlock comprehensive question-answering and problem-solving for users.

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