Last updated: 04:30 PM ET, Fri August 05 2016

Move Over Because The Travel Industry Belongs To AI and Robots

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | August 05, 2016

Move Over Because The Travel Industry Belongs To AI and Robots

Image via YouTube 

There’s a scene in nearly every Terminator movie wherein Skynet and its becoming self-aware gets discussed. Well, the artificial intelligence revolution may be more boring and far more useful than we ever imagined.

Robots and AI bots are taking over the travel industry slowly and assuredly. Thankfully, this doesn’t mandate any John Conner heroics – we hope.

Nadya Sayej, in writing for Vice’s Motherboard, points out the drastic influx of robots into the travel industry – some of which we have also highlighted in the past.

And as if suddenly waking up from a six-hour snooze to find you’ve arrived at your destination, we have awoken to find that a future replete with robots is very much a current reality.

Let us count the ways.

Virginia’s Hilton McLean has an IBM-powered robot named Connie offering AI help to humanoid travelers in its vicinity. The following video will amaze you accordingly:

Meanwhile, in Nagasaki, Japan, the Henn-na Hotel employs robots that help amused travelers with their hotel conundrums.

Staying in the same country, the following video introduces us to the concierge service for the Mitsukoshi Nihombashi department store by the name Aiko Chihira.

The Yotel New York also has a robot of its own.

A bit closer to home, Cupertino’s Aloft Hotel has a trusty robotic bellhop to answer all your hospitality needs. Well, most of them anyway:

Heck, even luggage is following you around these days.

It would be easy to dismiss the above as odd curios that pepper the globe in much the same way transparent walkways do: They are fun to experience but hardly have real-world applications.

That doesn’t seem to be the case when you consider how quickly AI is sweeping the travel market landscape.

Back in November, we introduced you to Hipmunk’s new service Hello Hipmunk, which brought AI to your travel research project with quick and seamless answers by way of calendar and email.

Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan furthers this notion with a quick recap on the bots that are making travel such a modern breeze.

For example, the Skyscanner bot and its ability to offer information through Skype chat as well as Hipmunk’s chatty bot version are offered a brief spotlight. also recently entered the AI foray with Booking Experiences, which uses AI algorithms to conjure attractions and itineraries it believes you would enjoy.

Our preconceived, sci-fi-induced notions of robots and AI technology may have to stay as such. There isn’t going to be a grand switch that will be thrown wherein every last vestige of our life will be dominated by helpful pieces of plastic and gadgetry.

Instead, it will be a slow-moving transition that seamlessly slips into our travels and aids the most mundane aspects of the trip in remarkable ways.

How will AI and robots help the modern traveler? In many ways, they already have.


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