What now for chatbots in travel?
2016 was the year when chatbots emerged as a new interface for consumer interaction.
NB: This is a viewpoint by Scott Crawford, vice president of product management at Brand Expedia.
Advances in artificial intelligence technologies – such as neural networking and natural language processing – have allowed brands such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon to offer conversational products, letting consumers order products or map their journeys through speech or messaging.
As we enter 2017, chatbots will become commonplace, particularly in the travel industry. Machine learning will allow chatbots to become more and more sophisticated while customer expectations will rapidly evolve in tandem. On-demand 24-hour information and service will become commonplace.
When online travel agents democratised travel 20 years ago, they gave the power of flexibility and choice to the consumer. One could argue that the paradigm of booking a holiday online hasn’t evolved in huge leaps since then.