PHOTO: Facebook Messenger app. (Photo via Flickr/Karlis Dambrans)
Technology is fun, sure, but it can also be a godsend for time-strapped travelers.
And now there's an AI computer system ready to point us all in the direction of the ideal hotel, flight, attraction and restaurant.
TripAdvisor has rolled out a new chatbot for Facebook Messenger that will allow users to access travel reviews and recommendations anywhere, anytime, without having to stray from the popular messaging platform.
Whether searching for the ideal hotel and flight for their upcoming getaway or simply wondering which nearby restaurant is worth eating at, users can call on the chatbot, which will then sift through millions of reviews to find the best recommendation.
"Let's say you’re in New York City and craving sushi. No problem – just log on to Facebook Messenger and simply send the TripAdvisor bot a message asking for sushi restaurants nearby your current location," said TripAdvisor in a blog post. "If you are in the West Village, for example, the bot might recommend Morimoto, Blue Ribbon Sushi or Sushi Samba."
The new feature also allows users to collaborate on travel planning with others since anyone invited to the chat can review the recommendations and cast a vote for their favorites with a simple "like."
What's more, the more questions users ask, the better the bot gets—it will be able to pick up on preferences and eventually learn what one looks for in the perfect travel experience.
Users can't book travel through Facebook Messenger but will be transported to TripAdvisor.com to make a booking after clicking on recommendations.
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Travelers can access the chatbot by typing "@TripAdvisorBot" into the "to" field in a new message, either on the mobile app or Facebook.com (or Messenger.com on a desktop).
TripAdvisor's chatbot arrives on the heels of Facebook's "City Guides" travel planner app that provides users with suggestions on what to see and do in a particular destination.