Yahoo is introducing new AI tools for Yahoo Mail that are aimed at helping users save time and money, the company announced on Monday. The rollout includes upgrades to several of Yahoo Mail's existing AI features, and introduces a new Shopping Saver tool. Yahoo is TechCrunch's parent company.
The new Shopping Saver tool surfaces gift cards, discount codes and store credits that people may have forgotten about. The tool drafts suggested messages to vendors to help apply those savings after a purchase has been made. Yahoo notes that nearly half of U.S. adults have at least one unused gift card, gift voucher or store credit. The new tool is aimed at helping users save money when making online purchases.
“We’ve introduced a full suite of tools on Yahoo Mail to help users save time and money, making strides toward an assistive inbox,” said Josh Jacobson, senior vice president and general manager of Yahoo Mail, in a statement. “In total, US consumers have $23 billion in unused gift cards and credits, and we hope our new tools will help users gain a fraction of that back in their wallets.”
As for the upgrades to Yahoo Mail's existing capabilities, the company is launching upgrades to the service's search and writing assistant features.
Yahoo Mail's search bar now suggests common questions to help users find what they’re looking for. Instead of having to rely on keywords, users can now just ask a question, or select from a list of prompted queries relevant to their search terms like, “how much did I spend on groceries last week?” Plus, there are new filters (e.g. From, To, Date) to help users narrow search results even further.
The company's writing assistant, which drafts suggested replies in the voice of the user, can now write in several tones. Prior to the expansion, the assistant only could write in a professional or casual manner. Now, users can choose their desired tone, such as urgent, grateful or apologetic.
Yahoo notes that it used Google Cloud’s AI platform to develop its generative AI features. The AI features were previously only being tested with iOS users, but are now available to users on web browsers. Yahoo is preparing for a public release of the features, but hasn't shared a date for the wider release.