“You may not realize it, but artificial intelligence is all around us” ~ Judy Woodruff
True as that saying is, we hardly realise how artificial intelligence is growing around us. The latest being driverless cars introduced by Google. While recognising the technological advancement in driverless cars, most people fail to see AI assistance they receive in their daily lives. One of the simplest examples of AI assistance in daily live is the voice assistance that Google provides for easy searches now. Another example is the virtual assistant that you find on most travel website that helps you find answers to your queries and helps you in making bookings.
Growing Influence of AI and ML in the Travel Industry
AI is growing exponentially, especially in the travel industry. AI has already started making its impressions in the travel industry – both leisure and business. Studies have shown that 81 per cent of people think that robots are better at handling data than humans – thus boosting the confidence of those who intend to place AI to handle customer requests and predict customer behaviour and preferences.
For instance, in 2016 the well known group of hotels Hilton Worldwide launched its bot called Connie, an interactive chatbot which picks up customer preferences and choices depending on the level of interaction. Chatbots have a great future in the business travel industry as they not only help in customisation, but also assist travellers in a more efficient and quicker manner.
Another such example is the bot introduced by Dorchester Collection, a similar group of hotels. This group of hotel has developed an AI platform called Metis, which is used to analyse and predict customer behaviour and preferences for better servicing. The software has helped them identify customer preference in terms of meals and the group is now working on bettering their services to suit their customer’s requirements.
While Artificial Intelligence has been creating ripples everywhere, another technological advancement that has grabbed eyeballs recently is machine learning (ML). Most Chatbots use a combination of both technologies – AI and ML. With machine learning, the computing device not only analyses data but also learns more and more about the human it is interacting with. This gives an edge, especially in the travel industry as bots can predict and customize services and offers as per customer preferences.
Disruptors Could Become Game Changers
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are highly disruptive technologies that can be game changers in the business travel segment. A lot of players are now combining artificial intelligence with predictive analysis for greater customisation, which is highly beneficial in case of business travel as booking, check-in alerts become more convenient. While artificial intelligence replaces human interaction, machine learning takes automation to another level. With ML, you have computers and bots that have the capability of learning and providing more assistance with their continuous interaction with humans.
The Next Level
The next level would be the addition of voice to AI. Business travellers can then interact with bots for bookings and related proceedings.
While AI and ML do increase the convenience and efficacy levels, there could be concerns regarding data privacy. Since the data is collected from different sources in a large quantity, it is essential that there are rules and regulations and also technology to prevent data theft. Another concern that could result as a result of AI proliferation is AI-created price fixing. Stringent regulations and technological advancements are the essential keys to ensure that data used by AI and bots are kept safe.