Travel Industry Club invited to an exciting network meeting in Frankfurt, Germany on April 12th, 2018. The venue was the digital innovation laboratory of Deutsche Bahn, d.lab, which develops new travel experiences and smart services along the entire travel chain.
The keynote speech was given by Markus Franke, founder and managing director Valculus GmbH, on the topic “Perspectives of Artificial Intelligence in Travel and Traffic”. Artificial intelligence, self-learning machines, are often equated with big data or advanced analytics. There is some overlap, but systems based on artificial intelligence are a technology field of its own and offer multiple possibilities for commercial use along the entire so-called “customer journey”. Digital solutions exist in the area of CRM, personalized offers, sales forecasts, as well as automated services such as complaint management and inquiries. It is all about providing the customer with the right information at the right time and in real time. The typical platforms for use include social media scanners, speech recognition tools, commercial analytics and image recognition tools. Recently, a Federal Association of Artificial Intelligence was founded in Germany, which groups 24 exclusively German companies.
How can Artificial Intelligence be described?
Aljoscha Burchhardt, who has been researching for 10 years at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Berlin, brings a definition to touch: “In artificial intelligence, the idea is to put it rather tritely, that we make software systems, either on our smartphone or computer or even on a robot ‘smarter’, so that they do their jobs as if they were in some way intelligent.”
Yet each case is different and individual in the implementation
Franke described some customer projects with airlines, insurance companies, fashion brands and banks using Artificial Intelligence. “AI can easily analyze thousands of e-mails in a qualified manner and thus significantly improve the quality of service.” All projects are still tailor-made solutions and cannot be used in a standardized way.
Really smart bots require high investment
This was followed by an exciting panel discussion on how communication between customers and companies will develop over the next few years and what role AI plays in this. Birgit Davidian from Microsoft Deutschland GmbH speaks of sensational breakthroughs in speech recognition. Bots as instruments of automated communication with the customer are already very powerful. They easily handle up to 70 percent of standard communication. However, investments in truly powerful and smart-looking systems can quickly amount to a 6-digit range, Davidian said. Max Waldmann, CEO Hotel Beacons about the market acceptance of AI: “We are already working with AI in our daily acitivities. The added value created will ultimately decide on consumers’ acceptability. ”