The Evolution of AI-Powered Chatbot Travel Assistants

By: Pam Baker| - Leave a comment

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In the travel industry, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot assistants have evolved from managing simple arrangements for individuals to tackling the complexities of enterprise travel management. These advanced machines have a lot to offer organizations struggling with headache after headache when booking for business travel.

Beyond Recommendation Engines

Machine learning technology starts by understanding how to carry out simple tasks, essentially mimicking human learning. Chatbot travel assistants began the same way. They were originally used to search for different options via recommendation engines and offer suggestions based on the user’s preferences. A recommendation system builds a user profile through past activity like purchases, hotel stays and other transactions. An algorithm then computes what a user is likely to need or prefer based on this information.

MarTech Advisor notes that Netflix and Amazon have made use of powerful recommendation engines to offer top-notch customer experience personalization. While these systems provide an effective way to discover and present offerings that individual users will like, enterprises can accomplish even more by mining data with the power, reach and speed of machines.

When it comes to coordinating schedules and moving people, current travel recommendation engines fall short of the efficiency organizations need. As it is, few business travelers and employees have walked away from online booking tools without a tale of woe.

Over time, AI-powered chatbots learn far more than user preferences and the simple logistics required to travel from point A to point B. Through sophisticated analytics, these chatbots can master personalized travel nuances like airline seat preferences, hotel Wi-Fi speed requirements and even food preferences to book meetings at restaurants that will make everyone happy.

Chatbots thus become real assistants capable of anticipating the needs, preferences and questions of each individual involved in the travel assignment, whether or not they’re traveling themselves.

Deciphering Language Through Chatbots

In the early days, chatbots had a limited vocabulary. Because of variations in users’ accents and keyword pronunciations, they often required users to repeat commands or even enter the information on a keypad. In contrast, AI can learn speech deviations, understand a wide array of vocabulary in diverse languages and even decipher linguistic changes as they evolve with pop culture.

Adding a natural-language interface to chatbots enables users to more easily interact with them and empowers the machine learning to understand nuances in human behaviors and needs. With this capability, chatbots can understand far more than rudimentary keywords typically used in content filters, online booking tools and basic prescriptive analytics.

Many organizations are seeking and building travel chatbots capable of automating activities with the ease and know-how of an experienced diplomat. With these advances, chatbots are decreasing corporate costs and employee travel frustrations. Savvy enterprises are already planning on incorporating AI chatbots into their IT infrastructure so they can move people around for competitive advantage. Without a doubt, these machines will offer another strategic advantage in an increasingly AI-assisted market.

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About The Author

Pam Baker

Freelance Writer

Pam Baker is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Georgia. Her published credits number in the thousands, including books, e-books, e-briefs, white papers, industry analysis reports and articles in leading publications, including Institutional Investor, CIO, Fierce Markets and InformationWeek, among many others. Her latest book, "Data Divination: Big Data Strategies," has been met with rave reviews, was featured in a prestigious National Press Club event, is recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for business executives and is currently being used as a textbook in both business and tech schools in universities around the world. Baker is a "big-picturist," meaning she enjoys writing on topics that overlap and interact, such as technology and business. Her fans regualrly follow her work in science, technology, business and finance.

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