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  • Post #121 - August 31st, 2017, 11:25 pm
    Post #121 - August 31st, 2017, 11:25 pm Post #121 - August 31st, 2017, 11:25 pm

    Researchers at the University of Chicago taught AI to write realistic restaurant reviews using Yelp reviews as an example. The reviews aren't written perfectly, but it's tough to spot the difference between real and AI-generated reviews.

    Why it matters: People take reviews seriously — the researchers cited studies that found a one-star increase on Yelp can boost restaurant revenue by 5 to 9%. AI-generated reviews, if negative or revealed to be fake, could be a blow to review-oriented websites like Yelp and Amazon, and the products and services that rely on them.

    What to watch for: Perfection may not be that far off: researchers can use advanced software to create better neural networks, making results even more believable. This would make it easier for AI to mass produce fake reviews or maybe even fake news.

    http://people.cs.uchicago.edu/~ravenben ... -ccs17.pdf
  • Post #122 - October 19th, 2017, 1:01 pm
    Post #122 - October 19th, 2017, 1:01 pm Post #122 - October 19th, 2017, 1:01 pm
    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's become disillusioned with Yelp. I have found it a useful resource when I'm in a new city, but more and more I am skeptical of the accuracy of the reviews. This came up today when my friend sent me a link to a wine bar in Logan Square and it was 99% 5-star reviews. It wasn't even a matter of the filtered reviews, because most of those were 5-stars as well. So what, then? Shouldn't I assume this place is golden?

    Something about the reviews were pinging on my radar. Why? I kept seeing the term "hidden gem" coming up over and over again, which suggested to me that it was a buzzword or algorithm built into the marketing package they may have bought from a company that "sells" Yelp reviews. I mean no harm against the restaurant - but nothing about what I saw online or in the pictures suggested it was the next coming of Christ, as you'd think.

    My friend who found the restaurant runs a restaurant herself and told me that Yelp had been calling her to advertise - and shortly after she declined, they 'filtered' a lot of her reviews and brought down her overall star rating.

    In seeing that, I googled the restaurant and noticed that there were similarly good reviews on Google and Trip Advisor. So I clicked on some of those. And again, started seeing the term "hidden gem" coming up more than once. I also noted the exact same review, same wording, different reviewers on Yelp and Google reviews.

    When I did a search for top restaurants in the city on Yelp, I noticed a trend of very new restaurants with a lot of reviews. One in particular noted in a Q&A that they were actually offering discounts or something in exchange for a good Yelp review (!!) Another one in Chinatown I know was bought out by a new owner who put $500K into the restaurant, but when you look at the crowd, it's mostly non-Asians. Don't get me wrong - I'm as white as they come - but I am suspicious of a place in Chinatown where the Asians do not eat. Not to mention my friend and her mom tried the place since they'd been taken over, and were not impressed on a number of levels. The reviews would tell you otherwise.

    It really makes you question the overall integrity of the system. Granted, restaurant reviews are, by default, subjective and not everyone will agree on what makes a good restaurant, but it's gotten to the point where I have trouble even being able to tell what seems like a subjective, honest review by a real person, and what is a paid/AI generated review. It makes me wonder if Yelp is actually deleting people's honest reviews or if people have just given up?

    Long story short, I appreciate that LTH has maintained its independence and integrity. I have been following LTH for over 10 years and love that the same regulars continue to post on here with frequency. Granted - LTH has its niche, as an earlier poster pointed out - but I also know from experience that it's a niche I'm happy to be in.

    It's been a while, LTH, but I'm glad to be back.
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene
  • Post #123 - October 20th, 2017, 2:12 pm
    Post #123 - October 20th, 2017, 2:12 pm Post #123 - October 20th, 2017, 2:12 pm
    Good detective work, GreenFish!

    I use Yelp for one thing and one thing only--but that one thing, I find invaluable. Namely, giving me the address and phone number of a place, and showing me on a map where it is, and making it possible for me to share with a touch this info with others, and linking to Apple Maps with a touch so I can get directions. (Well I guess that's more than one thing, but you get the idea.) So Yelp is essential to me. But not the reviews, which I've never put any stock in, even before any hint of "review-buying." I never saw any reason to trust the people who review on Yelp, not because I suspected corruption, but because I don't know why their opinions would matter to me.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #124 - October 20th, 2017, 5:34 pm
    Post #124 - October 20th, 2017, 5:34 pm Post #124 - October 20th, 2017, 5:34 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Good detective work, GreenFish!

    I use Yelp for one thing and one thing only--but that one thing, I find invaluable. Namely, giving me the address and phone number of a place, and showing me on a map where it is, and making it possible for me to share with a touch this info with others, and linking to Apple Maps with a touch so I can get directions.


    Saying the name of the restaurant after I say "OK Google" into my phone gets me all of that, too. Well, it links to Google Maps instead of Apple Maps but after seeing my sister and brother in law's experience with Apple Maps on their recent visit here I'm quite OK with that. :lol:
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.

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