One industry that seems ready for AI? Travel. Expedia Group just released a chatbot tool powered by ChatGPT, making it the largest travel company to test out artificial intelligence.
Per Skift, Expedia is the first to release an AI chatbot in the West (Singapore’s Trip.com released one earlier this year). Its functionality right now is limited to trip planning and destination ideas. The most useful application? The tool automatically saves hotels that the chatbot recommends, which users can then go back to and check for availability. However, no real-time information about pricing or events is available.
“By integrating ChatGPT into the Expedia app and combining it with our other AI-based shopping capabilities, like hotel comparison, price tracking for flights and trip collaboration tools, we can now offer travelers an even more intuitive way to build their perfect trip,” said Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO, Expedia Group, in a press release.
Expedia recently built a plugin for ChatGPT so a traveler could start a conversation directly on the ChatGPT site and select the Expedia plugin. This new integration, however, is built directly into the Expedia iOS app (it will only answers travel-related questions).
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Fair warning from Expedia: “It’s also important to remember that while many measures have been taken to limit inaccurate results and inappropriate responses, at times the experience may not work exactly as expected.”
So, is it useful? The more granular you get, possibly. When I asked the bot to “help me plan a trip to Melbourne,” it came back with a very broad overview (“Melbourne has a wide range of accommodation options” is not that helpful) but did better with specific queries (it explained how the city’s public transportation worked and where to get passes). Overall, it seems best suited for someone who wants a quick overview of a destination and some hotel options.
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