If you’re concerned about publishers and content creators getting their due in the new age of AI-powered chat, you might want to adopt Neeva, a small search engine that emphasizes pushing you to its sources as much as giving you the answer.
Neeva, founded by Sridhar Ramaswamy (ex-senior vice president of ads at Google), and Vivek Raghunathan, (ex-vice president of monetization at YouTube), is one of the small number of search engines that are either built around AI-powered technology or have added it. While the big three include ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing, and eventually Google Bard, both You.com as well as Neeva have a chance to try and grab some attention as AI-powered search begins to grow.
However, Neeva can’t really be considered an AI-powered chatbot, at least not yet. Think of it as AI-powered search, or search plus a bit of AI layered on top. Prompts like “tell me a joke” go ignored, as well as fun but dumb prompts like “tell me the fastest car in the style of a 1940s gangster.” In fact, unless you specifically use NeevaAI, its chatbot, you’ll see a list of results that looks just like any other search engine. Neeva promises no ads, however, and no trackers.
Instead, Neeva’s niche is in multi-site search. Want a list of the best laptops? NeevaAI will tell you, providing you an explanation about a paragraph or two long, with footnotes. Below Neeva AI’s response is a series of links, so that you can see the sites it’s pulling from.
To the right, however, is something unique: The NeevaAI synopsis, summing up the meat of the site in a sentence or two. It’s not a bad compromise: Users receive a short sentence or two about what the site has to say on the topic, but hopefully users will see the need to visit the site for more context and information. The link to the site is right at top, and there’s a large image (if the site has provided one) that illustrates the topic a bit more, too.
Neeva is even going so far as to say it will pay its sources, though it’s barely begun. “It’s still early days when it comes to our revenue growth; as such we have informal agreements with publishers when we use their content, for example Medium / Quora / Reddit,” Ben Kobren, head of communications at Neeva, said in an email. “In some cases, we are already cutting checks. Future Publishing is one.”
NeevaAI doesn’t trigger all the time, and there’s no direct link to the AI chatbot right now. (For an example prompt that should trigger NeevaAI, try “should you warm up your car.”) You’ll also need to be logged in to Neeva to access NeevaAI, though slightly ironically you can do so with a Google Gmail login.
Neeva is small, with just 2 million users internationally. But the time is now for it to start amassing users as AI chat begins to go mainstream.