Machine learning is becoming more and more pervasive in digital technology, and its effect on the local search industry is already apparent. Snapchat’s Lenses are a great example of how machine learning has been employed for the purpose of facial recognition, allowing users to utilize Snapchat Lenses and have them fit so seamlessly onto their facial features.
The future of machine learning will allow local search results to predict a new restaurant that a user might like to try based on other restaurants that they have visited recently or marked as favorites. More sophisticated technologies may allow suggestions based on a user’s preferences and similarities to other users.
In order for machine learning and predictive analysis to be effective, these technologies need to be seamlessly integrated into core app functionality. There cannot be steep learning curves or frustrating dead ends, or users will abandon the technology before it has had a chance to prove worthwhile. This means location-based companies who wish to experiment with machine learning should start small and hone user experience in order to prove the value of the technology.