The first image that likely comes to mind when we think about artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the sentiment robots that walk and talk like humans. However, there is more to AI than robots – machine learning.

AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adapt to the data and carry out human-like tasks. Today, there are numerous examples of AI, ranging from self-driving vehicles to chess-playing computers and everything in between, all which heavily rely on natural language processing and deep learning.  With these technologies, it is possible for computers to be trained to execute certain tasks by processing large volumes of data and recognizing patterns in data.

So, knowing this, the question now becomes, how is artificial intelligence utilized in eco-business?

AI is improving all the time, making it a more attractive and reliable business solution. Specifically, businesses in the tours and travels industry are leveraging AI to carry out a range of customer and administrative tasks. The ability of AI to perform functions that have traditionally needed human cognitive function makes it useful for travel companies, as it saves time and money, eliminates human error and allows tasks to be performed quickly.

Examples of artificial intelligence within the travel sector

Virtual reality (VR) technology

VR technology involves the use of a virtual reality headset, which immerses users into a digital world. The user is placed in a virtual environment through sounds, images, and other physical sensations, and can move around and even interact with in different ways.  Top travel companies now provide safari virtual tours to give customers a taste of what they can expect when they arrive at various destinations.

Travel clients often need plenty of information before they tour a region or book a hotel room. Usually, they will want to view images, read descriptions, check out videos, seek opinions on social media, and read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the goodness of a service. Virtual reality takes this stress out of the process. Many travel companies and hotels are now offering virtual reality tours on their apps and websites allowing clients to experience a digital version of a room as well as nearby attractions, essentially proving a “try before you buy” option for clients.

Chatbots and online customer service

One of the most exciting uses of AI is offering help to customers online. Today, companies are integrating chatbots on instant messaging apps as well as social media platforms to address their client’s inquiries and questions, even when they are not available. With the growing customer demands for faster response times online, AI lets businesses deliver what would be difficult for humans.

Data processing and analysis

The applications of artificial intelligence within the travel sector aren’t limited to customer service alone. In fact, one of its common yet effective uses is for collecting and processing information to conclude business practices, customers and pricing strategies. AI can sort through big data quickly and accurately, compared to humans who would take more time and potentially err. Today, most travel companies use AI to sort through client feedback from reviews, surveys, and online polls to get a clear picture of current opinion in real time.