Yext, Inc. announced “Milky Way,” the latest upgrade to the natural language processing (NLP) algorithm that powers Yext Answers, Yext’s site search product. Headlining this milestone update is the adoption of BERT, (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). Developed by Google, BERT is an open source machine learning framework for NLP designed to better understand user searches. By leveraging BERT within Named Entity Recognition (a process to locate and classify named entities mentioned in unstructured text into predefined categories), Yext Answers improves its ability to distinguish locations from other types of entities, including people, jobs, and events. The update includes:

  • Improved Named Entity Recognition: By leveraging BERT, Yext Answers can now better understand the contextual relationship between search terms. Answers will return a more relevant result by taking into account the correct classification, whether a location, person or product.
  • Improved Location Detection: The update leaves behind location biasing. Now, Yext Answers will filter through locations stored by a business in their Yext knowledge graph to surface the best match.
  • Updated Healthcare Taxonomy: More than 3,000 new healthcare-related synonyms, conditions, treatments, and procedures have been added to the algorithm’s taxonomy.
  • Improved Stemming and Typo Tolerance.