Artificial Intelligence and Travel
Travel is an industry in which technology has and continues to play a major role. From finding best deals on flights, booking a hotel to hotel management, practically every aspect of the travel industry has been impacted by advances in internet and other computer technologies. Artificial intelligence (or AI), is a much touted topic in the technology circles these days.
One area of high technology that has seen rapidly advancing developments moving to to the forefront in recent times is artificial intelligence. AI relies heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. AI developments make it possible for machines to ‘learn’ from performing different types of tasks. Algorithms can be designed that enable machines to make improvements and adjust the outcomes of a process to deliver human-like tasks.
using data to compute and perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Chat bots using Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities are currently being deployed to accomplish more complex personalization using AI.
In this article, we take a peek into how some of these new technologies are likely to impact the travel industry in even more disruptive ways.
Emergence of Quantum Computing and AI
AI is not a new concept. It goes back thirty years to the time we saw the rise of Just-In-Time delivery systems that had a significant impact on the auto assembly industry. The next thirty years are likely to see acceleration in the growth of quantum computing which will offer capabilities exponentially faster than classical electronic computing.
Most AI examples today already do things like play chess, drive cars, answer questions from humans, carry conversations between people even in different languages. The list of applications continues to grow rapidly and entrepreneurs continue to push the envelope into new and challenging areas. As the world’s major superpowers China, United States and Russia race to build usable quantum systems, we will undoubtedly see their adaptation into AI.
In the foreseeable future we anticipate the emergence of super optical networks, unimaginable quantum electronics computing speeds and a mind-boggling realization of a quantum internet. Quantum computing combined with AI will be such a huge game changer, it will not only make current-day smartphones, laptops and cloud servers seem things of the distant past. To say the least, it will no doubt have a transformative effect on society in ways we are unable to comprehend today. Every aspect of human endeavor including banking, retail, manufacturing, travel, communications, security, education, economics, government, the way we work, play, relax, you name it, will be redefined, nay disrupted, by this revolution.
From the industrial revolution to the digital age, technology, like a tidal wave, keeps rolling on, pushing the envelope forward in often unexpected directions. We are already seeing the increasing role of robotics in automation, planes flying on auto-pilot, emergence of driverless cars, drones tested for delivery of package to your doorstep, rise of cryptocurrencies, growing use of tele-medicine, new models of transportation and delivery systems and a number of other spectacular initiatives.
While these types of disruptions could be decades away, it may be amusing to take a peek at what awaits us and the next generation as they consider their next dream vacation.
Impending Impact of AI on Travel
It’s 9:00 am Saturday morning. You use your cellphone to talk to a ‘robotic travel planning agent’ about the trip you have in mind. You share your audio personal profile with the agent. Your profile, which is private and over which you and only you have full control, describes all your likes, dislikes, personal preferences and a host of other things about yourself. You want everything personalized to your liking. On this trip you want to smell coffee beans right off the plant, chill with local musicians, experience exotic cuisine, learn a local dance see an opera. It’s your trip. Let your imagination go!
Our friendly robot scours the data, determines the best fit for your dream trip, makes suggestions, ask relevant questions. Just like a human with adequate knowledge would do. Great! So you book the trip. The robot agent proceeds to make flight arrangements, book your hotel, make arrangements for your local travel, including airport pickup and dropoff, finalizes arrangements for your local itinerary including tickets to the opera event taking place during your visit.
It’s 10:00 am Saturday morning. You receive a message on your cell phone confirming the plans. The message includes a link to a complete list of things to prearrange: visa, vaccines needed, local contacts and an app with easy access to the maze of things to prepare for the trip. You are reminded that you forgot your toothbrush and a map on the last trip! Couldn’t get more personal!
You breathe a sigh of relief. No time wasted scouring the internet checking for the cheapest flight and hotel, finding a suitable tour package or booking a local guide. The last time you did that, it took weeks! Now all is perfectly arranged for you in one hour! What more could you ask for?
On the day of your trip, a driverless car arrives at your home exactly on time.Two drones arrive on your driveway to tag and escort your luggage to customs for checking. Electronic tags will ensure your luggage is cleared all the way to your destination. The passenger door of your car opens for you to enter with a personal polite greeting. before you leave, the ‘driver’ runs through the final checklist to ensure nothing is missed. All clear and off you go! The journey has just started.
On arrival at the destination, you check through customs and immigration with ease as all documents like visa, passport, declaration have arrived before you. Your luggage slides onto an intelligent cart that moves it to another driverless car waiting to take you to your hotel. On arival the concierge opens the car door, greets you by name, assures you that your room is ready and your luggage with be brought up shortly.
At every leg of the tour, you are capturing the memorable moments and automatically sharing them with your friends back home using an app.
You are back home, jet-lagged but pleased that everything went according to plan. Or was it all a dream? No it wasn’t! You have the photos and videos to look at and reminisce about the wonderful and fulfilling trip you had. They brought back the nostalgic memories. After all, the value of your vacation lies in these memories that you will cherish and share with others for years to come.
Sounds like a science fiction novel? It may be a stretch of the author’s imagination, but entirely feasible in the light of what we already know and an extrapolation of what’s already in the works today.
Privacy and Security
As new technologies gain mainstream acceptance, the battle between privacy and commercial interests are likely to continue. The push to keep private information private and secure will not abate until people win the unequivocal right and capability to determine who gets to see or use their personal information, restrictions on it usage and consequences for abuse are written into law.
Even so, we are also likely to see the an increase in growth of cyber hacking, more ingenious phising techniques and and the like. The battle between the forces of evil and good will continue unabated.
There are exciting days ahead for travel as better and safer access to newer and exciting destinations opes up the myriad of unknown, unspoiled exotic places around the world. Environmental concerns and pollution will remain a concern as we are driven by the quest for convenience and personal pleasure.
How about a vacation on the moon!
Wyzgo Vacations Customization
Trip planner with some details and a link