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AI Search Company You.com Launches Custom AI Assistants


AI search engine You.com has a new Custom Assistants feature that allows anyone to build an AI assistant for free with the same tech powering ChatGPT, the company said in a press release Thursday.

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Custom Assistants lets you create an AI assistant that can be tailored to answer questions for a specific need. This is meant to save you time, because you don’t need to prompt the AI with a long preamble of specific instructions. For instance, if you create an AI assistant to be an expert on all things audio equipment, you won’t need to prompt it with speaker-related parameters so it can home in on your use case. 

Custom Assistants lets you choose between GPT-4o, Llama 3 or Claude 3 Opus. These are the large language models, or LLMs, that power ChatGPT, Meta AI and Anthropic’s Claude. LLMs are AI models that are trained on massive amounts of text data and can generate new sentences.

To use Custom Assistants in You.com, all you have to do is click on More and then Add New. There, choose the LLM you’d like to use, give the Custom Assistant a name and tell it how it should behave. 

You.com launched in 2021 as a competitor to Google. It sought to differentiate itself from Google by aiming to be more personalized and secure. It was also early to incorporate AI into its feature set. When ChatGPT thrust itself on the world in late 2022, creating a chatbot interface with an interactive box on the right and a menu bar on the left, other AI chatbots followed a similar design language. You.com, too, saw a redesign in late 2023 that borrowed heavily from ChatGPT.

It’s tough for new players to break into the online search market, though. Late last year, AI search engine Neeva shut its doors, finding it too difficult to compete with Google. At the moment, it’s hard to know how far You.com’s reach is, but considering that Google controls over 90% of the online search market, You.com is competing with engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo for that final 10%. 

Editors’ note: CNET used an AI engine to help create several dozen stories, which are labeled accordingly. The note you’re reading is attached to articles that deal substantively with the topic of AI but are created entirely by our expert editors and writers. For more, see our AI policy.



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