Google’s New AI Is Coming For Travel Agents

Starting in the summer, the online travel agency Priceline will begin utilizing artificial intelligence from Google for users to plan trips, Reuters reported.

The company will debut a sophisticated chatbot for planning travel that will include a “personal concierge” to offer suggestions for hotels tailored to the user, according to Priceline’s chief technology officer Martin Brodbeck.

Brodbeck told Reuters that with the personal concierge, when booking a hotel, the user will be given a variety of additional information about features and attractions in the area that are tailored to the user’s specific needs. For example, if the traveler is a vegan, it will inform them if any hotel has a vegan restaurant nearby.

The tools from Google’s Cloud division allow Priceline to access generative AI, the same technology behind ChatGPT which drafts text as if it is written by a human. The tools also pull information from existing data, like hotel prices, to ensure accuracy.

Drawing business through artificial intelligence is one possible way that Google can close the gap with its competitors Microsoft and Amazon. Google has long trailed the other two companies as the number 3 provider of cloud services including data storage.

Embracing the new technology on its website may help Priceline compete with a variety of platforms that market to travelers.

Similar companies are also exploring the use of artificial intelligence.

Priceline competitor Expedia Group said in April that its smartphone app would use ChatGPT to power conversations. Using ChatGPT, Expedia provides “inspiration on places to go” to travelers as well as booking options, according to its chief technology officer Rathi Murthy.

Expedia and online travel agency Kayak are both integrating travel suggestions using features in the ChatGPT program.

According to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, being able to build applications from the generative AI Google has pioneered has attracted new business for the tech company.

However, Kurian declined to say what impact free corporate previews have on Google Cloud’s profitability.