AI For Tourism Has Arrived For Ireland

OpenAI Team up with Dublin City Council for pilot

I read with interest today that OpenAI the company behind ChatGPT has teamed up with Dublin City Council for a new initiative using artificial intelligence aimed at helping to transform the tourism experience. This will be a game changer for the tourism industry as AI starts to make giant leaps into everyday consumer use across digital platforms.

I previously worked for Failte Ireland as project manager on their websites and although we were able to produce award winning immersive websites – the old chestnut was usability for tourist who are often time poor and tech light. Although we could offer the visitor literally thousands of options to choose from across the island it always took time for them to review and choose. They needed to be assisted and offered things like suggestions and itineraries which were often somewhat generic. Never quite a fit for the family of four, with a dog, who don’t what to travel too far and some of whom are vegan – get the idea?

WHAM! Along comes ChatGPT in the last couple of years and changes all of that. For anyone who might not know what is a GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) its clever code that allows AI to read and generate text. Sounds easier than you might imagine as it needs to do this within milliseconds and return a response that is understandable and useful to a human. Far better than a Google search in my humble opinion – but what would I know?

Anyway – what happens when you use something like ChatGPT for a real world business application and plug it into a Tourism website for instance.

WATCH VIDEO – AI Video Demonstration ->

Pretty cool isn’t it? Suddenly your saving the tourist alot (an awful lot) of time and effort browsing your site for information that is specifically tailored to them.

Careful now …

AI isn’t perfect …yet … and comes with a (digital) health warning.

Although AI has made significant advances they still have some major shortcomings as per below :

  • Limited Understanding
  • Lack of Emotional Intelligence
  • Dependance on Training
  • Inability to learn in Real Time
  • Privacy Concerns
  • Lack of Creativity compare to Humans
  • Integration Challenges

So for instance what if a family of four (and the dog) travel from Donegal to Kerry to stay in hotel which is now converted or visit an attraction that is closed based solely on a ChatGPT response. Its an extreme example but something to bear in mind in an Irish tourism industry that prides itself on deep, accurate and timely information for the tourist.

What’s the future of AI and Tourism?

There is certainly space for using AI and knowledgeable experts in the tourism space. What is likely is that both will play a part in the tourism journey where AI may assist in the early searching/considering phase and will handover to people in the later phases who will nurture/reassure and ultimately deliver an an amazing holiday in Ireland.