District 4, Singapore–Travel bookings platform Trip.com has announced the launching of a real-time travel guide called TripGen on their mobile application in a news release published on February 16.
Trip.com claims that the TripGen chatbot, powered by the OpenAI API, can accurately answer complex or vague questions to help plan, curate, or book flights, hotels, tours, transportation, etc.
“Time is precious, but planning is always so time-consuming and stressful,” said Amy Wei, Senior Product Director at Trip.com and product owner of TripGen, in the release. “There is so much information available to users, and often it’s overwhelming,”
Per the release, TripGen would help users avoid the confusion of multiple options when planning a trip, helping obtain objective and accurate answers for questions like, “Where should I go?” or, “What should I do?”
“The goal of Trip.com is to become your trusted trip companion. The release of TripGen provides real-time, question-and-answer services in the Trip.com app, resulting in greater, faster, and more diverse support for travelers,” said Schubert Lou, COO of Trip.com, in the release.
Trip.com claims that the use of the advanced context-based Natural Language Processing-integrated (NLP) chatbot enables users to continue a (human-like) conversation about a particular topic with the AI ‘interactive agent,’ which can derive the meaning from “fragmented” or “vague” questions.
AI chatbots have been criticized for having a limited set of responses and database, a lack of empathy, or capacity to understand feelings (duh!), putting into question the ‘real’ efficiency or capacity to help that this technology could have on prospective travelers coming from various backgrounds, interests, and tastes.
“In the future, we will consider other NLP model alternatives and continue on our journey to provide the ultimate product experience for travelers,” added Lou, stating that TripGen currently supported English, Japanese, Korean, and traditional Chinese with more languages on the way.