September 05, 2017

Long years away from the perfect travel AI

Ask any technology expert about the future of artificial intelligence in travel and they’ll breathlessly tell you we’re on the verge of a revolution. But ask any traveler to describe their experience with AI, and you hear a different story..

These early days of travel bots that specialize in customer service, chat, messaging and search are a cautionary tale. Technology may be good and getting better, but nothing replaces a person. That’s unlikely to change for a while, and maybe ever.

“I don’t think that AI in travel is even remotely usable yet,” says Brian Harniman, who founded Brand New Matter, a strategic advisory and venture capital firm that specializes in travel. “It’s what people are talking about building in order to sound like they have cutting edge tech.”

The technologists are right: artificial intelligence will change the way you travel. But maybe not in the way they think—or the way you think.

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