Travolution Summit: poised to begin tests with Google's Bard

Travolution Summit: poised to begin tests with Google's Bard

The Travolution Summit heard that the OTA's TripGen ChatGPT integration has proved very popular with users since it was launched two weeks ago

OTA is poised to begin tests with Google’s Bard natural language AI system from next month after launching a portal with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Potential uses and issues to be aware of associated with Artificial Intelligence were discussed in a session at yesterday’s Travolution European Summit in London.

James Spalding, regional director northern Europe flight business unit, said the OTA had been working on an integration with ChatGPT for some time.

But he said the recent launch of its TripGen natural language processing chatbot integration was “to a certain extent” prompted by ChatGPT’s recent meteoric rise to prominence.

“We’ve recently launched TripGen which is a portal for consumers to use into ChatGPT,” he said. “You can type in questions and use it as you would with the ChatGPT interface.

“We’re looking at it from multiple different angles. There’s resource and the content creation in the back office.

“One of the areas we’re taking our first steps into is how to use it to interact with consumers and, more importantly, how they interact with us.

“What we’ve got at the moment is just a window so it’s giving people validated answers and information around travel content. It’s not yet integrated into booking or servicing. 

“We wanted to get something out there with ChatGPT and then next month we start our testing with Bard, which is a Google interface AI.

“All of this is an opportunity to take the first steps, it’s MVP [minimal Viable Product] first, but it’s really exciting period of time to be in.

“We’re very much testing and learning. Some of that has been fast-forwarded. But the appetite for it is absolutely there for ourselves and the consumer.

“It’s still only two weeks old for us, but as soon as we launched it we have seen user numbers double almost on a daily basis.

“As we integrate our data into the background to help it learn it’s going to be fascinating to see how customers are interacting, what questions they’re asking, and at what point are they using it in their journey.”

Bart Platts, managing director of digital agency Melt Digital, content generation is the primary use case for ChatGPT where there’s a need to generate functional content quickly.

He said for travel businesses this could be used for hotel or destination descriptions that need to be updated. 

“You are able to constantly ingest content from your hotel partners and produce new descriptions. It removes the need to use humans and you can use them to do richer stuff.” 

Platts said: “We’ve been using ChatGPT for about 18 months, predominantly for data organising and content generation. 

“As anyone who’s experimented with it will see it’s a pretty good content writer and generator for delivering that sort of stuff at scale for clients.”

ChatGPT essentially works by scraping all the content on the internet but only to 2021 so it needs to be augmented with fresh data because it is already out of date.

However, Google Bard will be able to work on data which is up to 10 second old although users will have to feed that in while also inputting their own and third-party data sources.