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“A restaurant with a beautiful view of the city” and “where they cook borscht”: Yandex Maps learned to search by understanding the user

The Yandex team announced the launch of a useful update for Yandex Maps. An improved search for organizations based on machine learning and neural networks was launched in a proprietary mapping service.

According to the developers, now “Maps” analyze all available information about the organization and find more places for complex queries without applying additional filters. For example, a user just needs to write “restaurant with a nice view of the city” for Maps to show suitable places, even if their description does not mention the view, but it is mentioned in the reviews or it can be seen in the photos.

The new search has learned to “understand” the meaning of the user’s request and find the most suitable options for places in the locations he needs using neural networks. They analyze not only the description and keywords from the owners, but also the company’s website, photos, menus, price lists and user reviews, classify them and rate them, and then select the places with the most appropriate rating for the query. For example, neural networks will help the user quickly find where the desired dish is prepared – just ask: “where is borscht cooked” or “cafe with desserts”.

The new search can also work with more complex cases where people are looking for places with subjective characteristics. For example, “the best hostels in Moscow for two for a long time.” Information about this cannot be seen in the photo and can not always be read in reviews or on the site. But the neural network will understand what the user wants, based on all the information available to it. And as a result, even for such a complex request, it will be able to find more suitable places.

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