Business Day|AI May Book Your Next Trip (With a Human Assist)

Itineraries By JANE L. LEVERE May 30, 2016 Jay Baer, a digital marketing consultant in Bloomington, Ind., spends half his time traveling on business. That means he also has to spend hours each week coordinating that travel. Help has arrived with the Pana app, which employs artificial intelligence to aid customers. Virtual travel assistant services — some from established companies like Facebook, IBM and Expedia, and others from new entrants like Pana and HelloGbye — are now popping up worldwide, just as major hotel chains like Starwood and Hilton are incorporating robots into their everyday operations. Many of the virtual assistant services use artificial intelligence, a branch of computer science that simulates intelligent human behavior. Some respond to questions posed by travelers, either in live speech or digitally, while some, like Pana, rely…

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