Booking.com, a brand within Priceline Group, is planning to begin using artificial intelligence (AI) to create personalized travel options for customers. According to Seeking Alpha, Booking.com will begin using AI within its mobile apps to provide travelers with instant recommendations for local events and attractions once they’ve reached a destination. Booking.com’s Booking Experiences tool, which has been launched on its iOS and Android apps in Amsterdam with planned rollouts in Dubai, London, Paris, and New York over the next few months, makes suggestions based on a user’s personal experience and from having analyzed millions of personal likes and dislikes and how these experiences impact the buying decisions for various venues. Booking.com’s tool is a reflection of how AI is already changing the customer experience in profound ways by teaching computers how to learn and make decisions like humans do.
Thanks to dramatic advances in AI and machine learning capabilities over the past several years, we’re already seeing other applications for improving customer service and other areas of customer experience. For instance, chatbots powered by AI are able to field and answer questions from customers on a variety of subjects, from generating recommendations on gift purchases to locating the nearest Chinese restaurant.
As with other forms of automation, some have questioned whether AI will replace customer service reps and people in other types of customer-facing roles. But just as customers have increased their use of digital channels, agents aren’t being replaced but instead are relied upon and trained to handle more complex interactions when customers want human assistance.
We’ve only begun to scratch the surface for applying AI and machine learning to the customer experience. Self-driving cars that are powered by AI are moving closer to reality. Personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana could evolve and be used as personal shopping assistants. Medical researchers are combining brain function and AI to control robotic limbs, offering hope to people who are paralyzed to walk again.
Companies will continue to discover new ways to apply AI and machine learning to provide customers with additional options for receiving intelligent and personalized experiences.