Artificial intelligence is just starting to show its face in corporate environments. For decades, corporate travelers have relied upon a combination of personal assistants and travel agents to coordinate and plan itineraries. Now that is all starting to change with AI that is taking over some of the smaller tasks associated with business travel. Here are five areas that are showing promise:
The fastest and simplest integration of AI came in the form of chatbots. Many travel companies have seamlessly moved to use automated chat bots on their home pages, including many airlines. This allows users to tell the system exactly what kind of help they need and get headed in the right direction without a human being on the other end unless absolutely necessary. This technology has been widely successful in other industries, so it is really no surprises that it entered the travel business as well.
There is also plenty to be said for AI and security. In fact, international business travelers may have already gotten a taste of these tools with new facial recognition scanners and body scanners used to match travelers to their ID or Passport photos. These systems cut down on the time spent waiting in lines, and show a lot of promise for simplifying travel. However, they are also quite expensive, and using them for domestic flights still seems a long ways off.
Travel Experience Planning
With big data also comes the opportunity for AI to scavenge through our emails and messages to put together a designer travel experience. From our meal preferences to our preferred transportation methods, AI can easily pick up on these cues and use them to develop plans in the future. In fact, AI could start putting together suggestions the moment it thinks that you may be making plans for travel, even without you asking directly. Some travelers feel that this is a little over the top, but there is no denying that having those options at your fingertips could be the difference between “We should get dinner sometime” and actually making a reservation.
Perhaps the most important piece of AI that is finding its way to business travelers is expense tracking tools. Not only is AI able to track spending from your digital wallet, but also import that data into your preferred reporting format and send it off when your trip is complete. This eliminates at least one headache, but it can go even a step further. Some AI systems are able to gather data from your previous trips and your input to determine your budget for the trip, and then keep tabs to ensure that you are coming in right where you’re supposed to be.
Aside from the areas where AI is already making an impact on the mundane aspects of planning and reporting, it also holds the key to plenty of future opportunities. In fact, travel agencies and hospitality companies alike are using AI to learn more about their customers and provide more personalized services. The more the computers learn, the better they will be at routing travelers, and the more efficient travel companies can become as well.
Artificial intelligence is here, and it will only continue to improve with time. Currently business travelers are seeing AI in fragments throughout their journey, but it won’t be long before companies are combining all of these features into a comprehensive planning to take off package.
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