I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First. ...

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I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First.

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By satyamkapoor |Email | Jan 10, 2018 | 9399 Views

It is quite evident that artificial intelligence is set to have an impact on our everyday lives right from commuting to controlling our smart homes. Interestingly, AI will soon begin to impact our holidays as well. AI has a great potential to make travelling safer, easier & more relaxing. 
Here are several ways AI is currently impacting travel, and what lies ahead in the future.

Choosing the right destination
There are almost endless options when it comes to travel. One does not only need to choose one's destination but also choose dates, accommodations, dates & things to do while there.
In the past people used to go to travel agents and now they are served with ads that are location based on their Google searches. Google plans to take this a step further. For instance, they will be giving "Date Tips" which will suggest cheaper travel times on Google Flights.
With the recent rise of chat bots, soon we'll see virtual travel assistants, where you can communicate using natural language to make relevant booking decisions.

This could be helpful if you don't have a location in mind. Simply tell the chatbot what you like and what you dislike, and it will be able to make recommendations, then take you through to booking the flights and hotels.

This will be a much more natural way of booking a holiday or business trip than the current forms you need to fill out.

Your Personal Travel Assistant

Booking isn't the only area chatbots will have an impact. You can also expect to see these helpful AI interfaces pop up during your holiday as well.

For example, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines currently allows travellers to receive booking confirmations, check-in notifications, boarding passes and flight status updates via a Facebook Messenger bot. 

This should help take the stress out of traveling, as you'll get instant responses to questions and queries rather than waiting for a human to reply.

Similarly, while you're on holiday AI will help you discover what to do. A basic form of this is the Explore feature in Google Maps, which recommends highly rated things to do near your location.

Hotels are taking taking this a step further with robotic concierges.

Hilton is currently testing Connie, a robotic concierge powered by IBM's Watson and WayBlazer's domain knowledge. It'll answer guest questions about hotel facilities, services, and local attractions.

The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas also has an AI concierge, named Rose. Guests are given Rose's phone number when they check in, so they can text it with any hotel inquires.

This is not only good for travellers, as it means you'll get instant replies, it's also good for the hotel employees, as they're not constantly answering questions about where to find the ice machine.

Understand the Locals

The language barrier can sometimes be the hardest thing to overcome when  traveling, but technology is making an impact in this area as well.

We've had Google Translate for a while now, which is able to instantly convert over 100 languages. This can even be done using your smartphone's camera, with the ability to point it at a foreign sign or menu, and get an instant translation, without even needing to tell Google what language you're trying to convert

This could become even more powerful when augmented reality (AR) glasses take off, as you wouldn't even need to raise your phone for the translation - it'll automatically be projected into your vision.

We're also starting to see spoken work translation, with intelligent earbuds like the Google Pixel Buds and Bragi Dash Pro. These wireless buds listen for foreign languages, and relay the translated message into your ear. It's a bit clunky right now, but the potential is massive.

Getting Around

Getting around an unknown place can be very daunting, but apps like Citimapper and Uber are already here to make it a bit easier.

Trainline is another company using bots help people while travelling. From research, to search, booking and the actual travel, the Trainline bot will be able to suggest personalised journeys with the best price, and indicate if you're more likely to get a seat on a different part of the train. 

This AI is also making Rail travel smarter and also more human by understanding & learning from the experiences of an average traveler. Trainline claims that around 70% of the global rail market pay for tickets offline. In doing so, they typically waste around 10 minutes in buying a ticket, so there huge potential for AI in this domain.

Once we have fully autonomous vehicles ready for use, getting around will both safer & easier. One could imagine asking a driverless pod using one's voice to reach a particular destination.

Source: HOB