What is YouChat?
YouChat is an AI powered conversational search assistant that promises to revolutionize the way we search for information online. In this article we will discuss the origins of YouChat, how it stands out from other bots in the crowd, and what the future holds. Read on to familiarize yourself with the first large language model that actively stays up to date on current affairs. YouChat is the AI search engine that’s got people the world over asking it questions.
Searching for answers to our questions
Let’s begin by looking at how we use the internet to search for information and answers to our questions. Take a commonly searched query: “Can a cracked windscreen be repaired?” To find an answer (answers), a traditional search likely involves typing a query into your preferred search engine. The user is then presented with adverts, promoted pages, and several answers selected by the search engine. Scrolling down, there will be page after page of links to websites offering further information.
Depending on the complexity of the original question and your appetite for information, you might be able to find an answer quickly. There is always the danger of getting swamped with too much information. This is especially true if you like to get stuck in and dig deeper, comparing answers by reading multiple opinions in a discussion website or forum.
Perhaps you have used an AI search engine, one of the large language models like ChatGPT? How did your user experience compare to traditional searching? Currently, ChatGPT is still prone to “hallucinating” incorrect answers that it confidently offers as correct. YouChat is a hallucinator, too. Hallucinations aside, while both traditional searching and ChatGPT style search bots have advantages, neither of them have the conversational, personable character of YouChat.
Who are You? Who is YouChat?
The creator of YouChat is You.com, the search engine founded by former Salesforce maestros Richard Soccer and Bryan McCann. You.com offers a different approach to Google, integrating apps into search results, providing integrated results from relevant apps. The impetus is on the user: rankings are user influenced by giving a thumbs up or down, making You “The AI Search Engine You Control.”
YouChat launched in 2022, on the day before Christmas Eve. The AI powered conversational search assistant was upgraded and YouChat 2.0 was introduced on February 7th, 2023. Since then, YouChat 3.0 has landed, featuring a handy function called C-A-L (Chat, Apps, and Links), providing a wide range of results including images, videos, news, and maps. All of these can be conveniently accessed without having to open a new tab or leave the search results page.
Key to its current success and efficacy, the chat function is linked to up to the minute news and information sourced from platforms including Reddit and Wikipedia. So, even if you suspect that YouChat has given you an incorrect answer, it is easy to check: simply using the search function, without leaving the page.
As we shall discover, YouChat is a little different, and claims to be “The AI Search Engine You Control.” Let’s explore a little more. YouChat, in many ways, resembles a personal search assistant or an alternative Alexa. The chat interface, supported by AI and Natural Language Processing (NPL) power, allows human-like conversations, using its own language model. Perhaps the YouBot inhabiting YouChat will be embarrassed if I keep trying to describe it/him/her/they, so, here’s YouChat’s self introduction:
“Hello! My name is YouChat, I’m an AI that can answer general questions, explain things, suggest ideas, translate, summarize text, compose emails, and write code for you. I’m powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing, allowing you to have human-like conversations with me. I am constantly learning from huge amounts of information on the internet, which means I sometimes may get some answers wrong. My AI is always improving, and I will often share sources for my answers."
Straight from the horse's mouth, that should give you a better idea of what YouChat is. Although it is common these days to view every AI chat tool in comparison to ChatGPT, YouChat and ChatGPT are actually quite different. While they serve a similar purpose, the tech and content are separate, and the overall user experience is not the same. Very soon, there will be many, many more chatbots in the vein of ChatGPT, Google Bard and YouChat, but for now we will focus on YouChat.
What can YouChat do for you?
YouChat can read, write, summarize, provide ideas and explain things to you. On top of this, it can be used for good old fashioned web searches, or you can enlist YouChat’s ￼￼YouBot to sort the search results for you.
YouChat can help you to complete a range of tasks, from answering questions to creating content, summarizing books, and providing sources. Logical reasoning is another of YouChat’s talents, as is explaining complex concepts in terms that you can understand. YouChat is also a linguist, functioning in any of the world’s languages and is able to translate any language you can throw at it.
While it is more up-to-date than many other large language models, YouChat is beset with similar issues to other AI search engines and hallucinates references, expresses biases and sometimes provides misinformation, and outdated or irrelevant links.
It is important to remember that we are still very much in the early days of AI chatbots. The YouChat user experience is constantly improving and the more it is used, the better it gets. YouChat can approximate human style conversations, while politely answering your questions.
What does the future hold?
While many people (this author included) who experiment with YouChat and the You.com search engine are struck by its futuristic feel, there is still plenty of room for further growth. It is hard to say what the future has in store, but further evolution of AI bots promises increased convenience, speed, and accuracy when searching with the help of a generative AI search assistant. The possibilities may well be endless.
Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.