How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Travel Experience

In tech circles and beyond, AI is the mot du jour lately, often thrown around in speculative conversations as the magical key that will unlock previously unthinkable technological progress. While often such conversations involve long-horizon views, AI has already made a tremendous impact on the consumer experience.  This impact is continuously growing and becoming increasingly prevalent in the travel industry. Consider, for instance, chatbots and voice-activated assistants. Chatbots are already helping airlines and online travel agencies handle some of the simpler customer transactions (booking, boarding passes), so their human agents can focus on more complex interactions. KLM Airlines, for example, was one of the first to allow travelers to request their boarding pass within Facebook’s Messenger app. Taking it a step further, other airlines have recently begun letting passengers book flights using the Facebook Messenger interface.  On a similar note, travel companies such as Kayak, have begun using voice-activated assistants (Amazon’s Alexa in Kayak’s case) to offer hotel search and book functions.  Between Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Voice Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby Voice, the market of voice-activated assistants is definitely heating up.  Even more so in travel, where large brands, such as Marriott, are not only testing out the general-use…


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