For the past few years, the travel industry has been exploring innovative ways to utilize artificial intelligence (AI), in an effort to unlock the promise of more efficient communications and greater customer service between travelers and service provides. So far, most of that potential has remained largely untapped, despite significant advances in both travel and AI sectors. WayBlazer however, is building an extremely powerful travel recommendation engine, and it's doing it with a little help from AI. WayBlazer's Travel Graph uses artificial intelligence to learn about tens of millions of travel products and thousands of global destinations. It ingests and extracts useful from descriptions, reviews, blogs, images, and videos to develop a frame of travel intelligence that's used to power the most relevant recommendations for today's travelers. By using machine learning models, their travel graph gets smarter with every user search.
Hurtigruten cruise line introduces a new way to see what lurks beneath the world's most remote polar waters. On its expedition ships, the company is introducing an underwater drone that streams real-time video of orcas, leopard sharks, penguins and other creatures beneath the water. Or passengers can wear masks with digital displays that may make them feel like they're on a dive deep in the ocean Hurtigruten plans to start by outfitting two hybrid-powered ships -- the Roald Amundsen and the Fridtjof Nansen -- with the new underwater drone. "[W]ith underwater drones on our ships we can take our guests to areas less explored than the surface of Mars," company Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement.
Travel companies are implementing this technology into their businesses to help employees across sectors provide better customer experience. These double as a digital concierge to assist guests with their travels, aiding hotel staff in answering guests' questions and managing food orders. Virtual assistants also help travel companies and call centers by providing new employee onboarding and training systems, which lowers costs, both internal and external. Cognitive computing helps employees working in the travel industry more effectively do their jobs by allowing them to serve more customers through multiple channels.
The appeal of machine learning – essentially a form of artificial intelligence (AI) whereby computers learn without being explicitly programmed with new information – is clear. Assessing the millions of flight options on, say, a long-haul, round-trip journey, complex algorithms can learn from past booking data to filter those possibilities down to the small number of most practical or appealing options…all in just seconds. Like many travel companies, machine learning is increasingly critical to how we do business at Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN), where we use hundreds of hotel features to rank hotels for our travel partners by relevance to an individual consumer's preferences. At EAN, we are working on using a type of machine learning called'deep learning' to rank and sort hotel images and this is what we've learnt is that very first thing people glance at within a hotel listing, before considering the hotel name or price, is the image.
Sophie, the'digital human', greeted guests at the recent US launch of Air New Zealand's global marketing campaign A Better Way to Fly. Air New Zealand worked with Soul Machines to create'Sophie' as it explores how artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies can be used to help travelers. Soul Machines says the technology behind Sophie uses neural networks and brain models to bring its digital humans to life from their cloud based human computing engine which sits on top of an artificial Intelligence platform powered by IBM Watson. Luxon says artificial intelligence is one of the areas they are focusing on to achieve this, starting with Oscar the Bot, and now, with Sophie.
Booking.com acquired a tiny software company called Evature, which is based in Tel Aviv and offers natural language and chatbot-related technologies for hotels, airlines, travel agencies, and airports. The sale came after this summer's news that Booking.com is opening a research and development center in Tel Aviv that will recruit dozens of employees. Evature's signature product is a virtual agent named Eva (Expert Virtual Agen) that conducts natural language interactions with customers on behalf of travel companies. The company raised $5 million in funding, according to The Marker, an Israeli business newspaper.
Twitter offers a free API that return on a specific topic (and other filtering options) returned to them. In addition, there is a very good package called "TwitteR" for this API, which makes querying the data extremely easy. In addition, the URL of the search results filtered by Advanced Search contains the individual filter settings. The analysis of Tweets and posts allows companies to easily monitor public opinions on brand and to identify trends.
While delayed and canceled flights cause stress, it's even more stressful when a passenger tries to get rebooked or change a flight. Nanorep is already working in other areas of the travel industry, and Campo believes AI can help the airlines' customer service as well. Thanks to virtual assistants, hold times virtually disappear. The airlines are a great example of how AI, chatbots and virtual assistants can enhance the customer experience.
While delayed and canceled flights cause stress, it's even more stressful when a passenger tries to get rebooked or change a flight. Nanorep provides digital self-service solutions like smart chatbot and virtual assistants that are fueled by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), so you can talk to these bots as you would a customer service representative. Nanorep is already working in other areas of the travel industry, and Campo believes AI can help the airlines' customer service as well. That's what AI, computerized virtual assistants and chatbots, can do.
Chatbots now work well for ordering a pizza, but managing a complex travel itinerary is a different story. Ask any technology expert about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in travel and they'll breathlessly tell you we're on the verge of a revolution. They'll describe a world in the not-too-distant future where smart applications can find and book a bargain airfare, manage your trip and troubleshoot any problems that might come up with greater speed and efficiency than any human travel agent. AI is reasonably good at simple tasks, for now they say.