Expedia, the travel-planning website, has incorporated an AI-based chatbot function into its mobile application to assist users with their trip planning and location research. The chatbot is powered by ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence technology that has revolutionized various industries.
“Basically the idea is just to give travelers, however, they want to shop, the best ways to plan, the best ways to shop, the best ways to find the right thing for them,” Peter Kern, CEO and vice chairman of Expedia Group, told CBS News on Friday.
“You can ask [the chatbot] whether April is a good time to go to Paris, or what you might see in Tokyo if you go in March — and can you see the cherry blossoms,” he added.
The tool allows users to select accommodations near well-known locations, such as popular cherry blossom viewing areas. While some of the features available on Expedia’s website already do this, the chatbot is a logical extension of AI capabilities.
However, the chatbot is not entirely flawless, and it can occasionally provide inaccurate information. To address this issue, Expedia has implemented barriers to prevent the chatbot from deviating from travel-related topics. The company has also created its own AI to track the chatbot’s responses and ensure travelers receive accurate information.
Despite being in beta development, the AI technology does have some significant drawbacks. For instance, when asked to find round-trip flights from New York City to Mexico City, the chatbot responded, “I can’t help with that yet,” even though it listed the top sights in Mexico City.
One of the limitations of large language models like ChatGPT is that the usefulness of the information provided can vary depending on how the request is phrased. To overcome this limitation, companies hire prompt engineers to figure out how to communicate with AI tools effectively for optimal results.
According to a CBS report, Expedia’s new AI-based application provides users with a practical way to organize their travels and explore potential locations. The company claims to have put guardrails in place to ensure that the chatbot stays on topic despite its limitations.