By Ashish Sidra
The new wave of AI technology has initiated transformative change that is catalyzing the way we work. With its ability to generate, simulate and optimize content, generative AI opens new horizons in all possible sectors. He’s a rising digital star who rose to fame in a matter of months thanks to popular apps like ChatGPT and Midjourney.
The travel industry is also no stranger to generative AI. In fact, the industry is at the forefront of adopting generative AI to improve customer experience and stay ahead of the competitive landscape.
But how does generative AI help the travel industry and to what extent can it be used? We’ll take a look.
Gone are the days when cookie-cutter travel plans were humans’ first choice. Now, travelers want personalization.
According to a recent Accenture report, 83% of travelers express a strong interest in receiving personalized recommendations. Generative AI has the potential to analyze large sets of data, including travel history, interests and online behavior, to come up with tailored itineraries that meet individual preferences.
By delivering such unique and memorable experiences, generative AI can not only increase customer satisfaction, but also fuel customer loyalty and drive word-of-mouth.
Transparent customer service
Customer service in the travel industry isn’t a 9 to 5 job. It needs to be around the clock and fast. This is where generative AI can be a game changer.
Conversational chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants will be able to handle booking requests, provide real-time flight updates, offer recommendations and even help with language translation. By automating routine tasks, Generative AI frees up human resources to focus on more complex, value-added interactions, creating a higher level of customer satisfaction.
Generative AI can further enable sentiment analysis to help businesses identify customer feedback and sentiment. This then enables them to proactively resolve issues and improve service quality.
If there’s one generative AI superpower that’s won everyone over, it’s its ability to generate content instantly. Templates like ChatGPT are used to create guides, directions, travel hacks, and anything else you can think of.
In fact, high-quality videos and images can also be produced in minutes. Automation also speeds up the content distribution process, saving time and increasing brand reach.
The other side of the coin
There is no doubt that generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the travel industry by delivering improved efficiency, personalization and customer experience. However, we need to be aware of the limitations of the technology and avoid being swept away by the initial hype surrounding it.
What do humans do when they don’t know an answer? They just say it. But that’s not the case with generative AI. If he doesn’t know the answer or doesn’t understand the question, he still generates content, even if it’s factually incorrect. This behavior is beginning to be called “AI hallucinations”.
Fashionable comments about the ability of travelers to come up with complex travel plans using AI should be seen in the context of these hallucinations. Misinformation or misleading content generated by such technology can lead to poor customer experience and potential reputational damage. And we are already starting to see the first examples of such reputational damage.
Confidentiality and data quality
With hyper-personalization as an advantage, generative AI raises data and privacy concerns. For example, the AI is heavily dependent on the data it pulls from various sources, such as customer preferences, booking records, and historical trends. But not every time, this data is of high quality. Along the same lines, there is a real risk that AI algorithms will develop biases if trained on historical data that could be discriminatory and redundant.
Data protection and privacy is another challenge that generative AI has yet to address. In fact, many countries and companies like Samsung have banned the use of generative AI due to the sensitivity of its data.
Legal and regulatory issues
The absence of related legal and regulatory frameworks is one of the major neglected areas regarding AI technology. It is only a matter of time before we see emerging debates about legal responsibilities in the case of decisions/advice given by AI technology.
find the balance
The introduction of generative AI has certainly brought seismic change. According to data from Precedence Research, the global generative AI in travel market is expected to reach approximately $3,581.95 million by 2032.
But there is one thing we cannot ignore. No one understands humans better than humans. And no one travels better than humans.
Even though technology is highly assistive, it is — ultimately — assistive. Every use case of generative AI should be critically analyzed and leveraged under human supervision to improve customer experience and employee productivity.
(The author is the co-founder of Alike.io, a creator economy-based social marketplace for travel bookings)
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of ABP Network Pvt. ltd.