Neeva Focuses on AI With 'No Path’ for Consumer Search

Search company Neeva is shuttering its consumer search engine to focus on artificial intelligence (AI).

Writing on the company’s blog Saturday, founders Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan noted a number of challenges facing the business, arguing it was difficult to persuade users to try a new search engine.

“These headwinds, combined with the different economic environment, have made it clear that there is no longer a path towards creating a sustainable business in consumer search,” the founders wrote. “As a result, over the next few weeks, we will be shutting down and our consumer search product, and shifting to a new area of focus.”

That new focus: exploring how to apply the company’s expertise in search and large language models (LLMs).

“Many of the techniques we have pioneered with small models, size reduction, latency reduction, and inexpensive deployment are the elements that enterprises really want, and need, today,” the blog post said.

Neeva’s switch comes as a number of companies are adding AI capabilities to their product, and as governments around the world grapple with how to deal with the impact of the technology.

For example, Amazon on May 17 rolled out four new devices for its Alexa-powered Echo line of smart products — the Echo Pop, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 5 Kids, and Echo Buds.

“Customers around the world love Alexa as their trusted, personal AI— they’ve now purchased well over half a billion Alexa-enabled devices, and use of Alexa increased 35% last year,” said Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa.

On the same day, Dave Limp, the company’s senior vice president of devices and services, told Bloomberg that the Alexa digital assistant had been using LLMs to summarize text gleaned from the web and make Alexa more conversant in a variety of languages.

“That puts Amazon squarely in the generative AI contest against OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and others at a time when large language models have overtaken commercial AI efforts,” PYMNTS wrote last week. “With developments happening fast, Alexa is upping its game to be more conversational.”

Also last week, Omar Al Olama, a United Arab Emirates minister for AI, gave an interview in which he said the technology requires the same level of control as weapons-grade uranium.

“Even if we were the most progressive, most proactive country on Earth and put in place the best guardrails and safeguards, if [AI] goes off on the wrong tangent in China, or the U.S., or the U.K. — or anywhere else — because of our interconnectedness, it is going to harm our people,” Al Olama said during The National’s Connectivity Forum.

The post Neeva Focuses on AI With 'No Path' for Consumer Search first appeared on