The Power – and Limitations – of ChatGPT for Travel – PhocusWire

ChatGPT screenshot
The Power – and Limitations – of ChatGPT for Travel

Great insights from Lufthansa Innovation Hub’s TNMT on the power of ChatGPT and it’s potential for automated travel planning

Let’s talk about the OpenAI trend.

Our creative wizard, Tino Klaehne, built an artificial intelligence-based travel inspiration tool.

You can check it out here.

  • Fill out the five questions.
  • Wait for a few minutes and check your email inbox.

Again, it’s all AI.  

Do you like what you see? 

Here’s what Tino did, in case you want to replicate it. 

  • He created a database in Airtable with the different parameters as separated input and used the formula function to merge them into a prompt for ChatGPT.
  • He then connected the Airtable (using Make) to the ChatGPT API. Once a new input is made, it is instantly sent to ChatGPT, and the itinerary is created and directly added to the database
  • Once Airtable receives all of the information, it automatically sends the result via email. Typically, this takes less than a minute. However, we set it to 15-minute intervals.

Here is what’s most fascinating

It didn’t take Tino more than an hour to build and test this idea once he figured out how to do it.

I tried the tool to receive travel recommendations for my favorite city in the world, Vancouver, Canada, and it worked impressively well. All major attractions were covered and embedded in an easy-to-read travel schedule.

Obviously, you can take this to even more sophisticated levels.

For example, some people have started connecting ChatGPT to Google Maps for automated trip planning. The results look stunning. 

The implications for travel 

As all these examples show, generative AI is likely to have massive implications for all kinds of obvious use cases around texting and imagery in the travel context, such as itinerary planning (as seen above) and customer service. 

If you compare most of today’s airline chatbots with what ChatGPT has to offer, it feels like we got catapulted from the stone age into the modern world overnight.

As the technology continues to advance, it will be able to perform tasks that were previously thought to require a high level of education and skill. 

So, should we all plan for unemployment then? 

Well, not so fast.

When praising the advancements of AI, it’s important to understand the limitations of what ChatGPT means for human agents and white-collar work in general.

As The Atlantic nicely put it, “It creates content out of what is already out there, with no authority, no understanding, no ability to correct itself, no way to identify genuinely new or interesting ideas.”

What does this mean for the travel industry?

  • It actually suggests that AI might make original travel planning more valuable.
  • It also suggests that ChatGPT (and other AI applications to come) will become a powerful tool for almost all knowledge workers, including travel agents to be more productive (including research analysts like us at TNMT).

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