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Automatic translators and a seamless travel experience: Tourism meets hi-tech

New technology for tourism providers – two fascinating applications are unveiled at the eTravelWorld at ITB Berlin

Artificial intelligence takes over tourism marketing

Hotel chains, hotel booking sites, cruise operators and airlines all have the same problem – how to design their websites with information for a specific audience in their corresponding language and present it so that users receive just the right amount of relevant content. At the eTRAVEL LAB at ITB Berlin Dr. Kevin Ashbridge von SDL plc presented some workable solutions. His suggestion was to have artificial intelligence automatically describe buildings and for neural networks to take over most of the translation and distribution work. To this end his company has developed elaborate strategies which are employed by half of the top 10 airlines and half of the world’s leading hotel chains worldwide

From his perspective the advantages of automation are clear. It costs less and considerably speeds things up. In recent years translating had undergone a complete change, he explained. Now, instead of using static examples the software that was in use predominantly recognised patterns. Furthermore, SDL provided his customers with blueprints which made precise use of the content relevant to customers for website hierarchies and app usage. According to Ashbridge, using words in an appropriate context would become significantly more important, particularly in the light of progress being made in voice recognition based on artificial intelligence.

An alternative to stand-alone solutions: the digital concierge

Travellers may overcome borders, but they often still come up against technology. Making use of individual apps for every step and to satisfy every travel need can be tedious. If there is one app for calling a cab, another for reserving a restaurant table and another for booking travel tickets, why not combine them in one? As part of a project co-funded by the EU the technology now exists for a digital concierge which providers can offer their customers for a seamlessly integrated travel experience.

Jorge Vieira da Silva, secretary general of the MASAI Mobility Community, personally unveiled the technology at the eTravelWorld at ITB Berlin. According to da Silva, the digital concierge in one’s pocket can handle transport, accommodation, eating, event, and activity needs all in one. “Our idea is to make travelling as smooth and trouble-free as possible“, said da Silva. “Customers should no longer have to switch apps all the time. The customer experience should no longer be fragmented and should give way instead to a seamless travel experience.“ MASAI-based services were already operating in Nice in the south of France and in Cascais in Portugal, and Deutsche Bahn was already using this technology for its digital concierge too.

Rainer Heubeck

www.sdl.com http://masai.solutions/

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