Artificial intelligence provides computers with the ability to learn and respond accordingly without the need to be programmed specifically. A common example of this is the use of chatbots,
which are commonly used on major websites’chat features to help users with simple service requests online without the need to speak to a live travel consultant. Amazons Alexa can now converse with a few booking sites, to give a voice automated update on your perspective itinerary and this is a good example of how AI and voice recognition software is beginning to take hold in relation to travel.

The reality is that most of us, use AI every day without even realising it, the Netflix streaming service is technically driven by AI delivering relevant content based on your real time watching habits. “Siri” has been around for years while “Hey google” is another common example how AI has now made it into our homes. The challenge particularly around corporate travel servicing is the complexity and the fragmented sources used for making bookings and the challenge in collating this data and enabling travel managers to guage real time trends and subsequently responding to upcoming challenges.

The use of chatbots at this stage is to simply respond in a logical way based to pre-programmed and learned responses. An example of this would be the various airports Dublin, Frankfurt and Geneva that use chatbots to help assist passengers in locating lost luggage, checking in and simple questions about flight details etc. This doesn’t however eliminate the requirement for the human touch and consideration around corporate travel servicing where consultants will spend more of their time resolving complex itinerary requests, focusing on customer service and driving policy compliancy.

The reality is we should already have virtual travel assistants and we will use services from our phones that keep us informed of flight changes, weather, provide basic information in relation to the trip in the form of a travel App. The Apps Atlas Travel use, drive this kind of information currently and we look forward to develping these tools further to meet the demands of business travellers as technology continues its march forwards.