The AI In Yahoo: CEO Jim Lanzone Says Firm Is Leaning In

Yahoo has introduced AI into Yahoo Mail, and is looking at integrating it into all aspects of its business, CEO Jim Lanzone, who joined the company almost two years ago, said in a panel at Cannes this week. 

Assessing the impact of AI at Yahoo, Lanzone said: “For us it's, what is the integration of AI into everything? It's going to be in Yahoo Finance, right, helping people research stocks. We just launched, in beta, AI into Yahoo Mail. So it's helping you compose mail, use natural language to search mail and organize your inbox, much more practical applications for this stuff.”

Yahoo Mail is offering AI in beta to U.S. iOS users of its app. "With AI, Yahoo Mail now makes it easier to find what you need — just by asking your inbox," it says on its website. "Or write emails effortlessly with a few taps. Let your email do the heavy lifting, so you can get more stuff done).



Lanzone admitted that he has “attended a lot of AI conferences late last year, early this year,” according to the transcript published by Yahoo Finance. 

But Lanzone added one possible cautionary note about the AI boom: “I was there for the late '90s. And, you know, that early 2000s web 2.0 period, it had that feeling to me in San Francisco again.”

Dues that mean there could be a bust, as there was back then? Lanzone noted that “a lot of investment has come in to AI companies.” 

But he noted, “I'd say there's been another side to it, which is now that we're past kind of that initial rush -- people have been trying to figure out where it really is going to have the biggest impact. For me, as a product person, running a bunch of the biggest products on the internet, for us it's much more practical, right.”

He continued: “There's been a thousand different -- or thousands of different -- companies at the application layer. And people are wondering, which of those is going to actually be successful, and which is not?”

But people shouldn’t fret. Executives at the major internet companies and ad agencies have “all been through it a lot. I've been through the ups and downs of this industry for over 20 years. You know, the market comes and goes. The ad market comes and goes.”

How is the market right now?

There is “a secular tailwind behind internet advertising in particular, that is as strong as could be,” Lanzone pointed out. “Stronger than these winds out here right now. It's pretty windy.”

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