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Artificial intelligence technology is infiltrating the travel industry, and it’s bringing a host of new conveniences and capabilities with it, from personalized recommendations and booking to making traveling more secure.
AI’s introduction to travel stems from travelers’ desires for more convenience and greater efficiency. For example, chatbots can handle multiple basic inquiries at the same time so agents can focus on more important questions. Humans can also provide services more quickly than before because of lower call volume.
Powerful body scanners at airports can scan a person in a fraction of a second. These systems use AI to identify guns, bombs, and other potential threats and are so fast they eliminate the need for passengers to stop in a security line. Since this pitstop is the source of most airport frustration and delay, this scanner’s convenience is huge. And, since the scanners use machine learning to constantly improve, the technology will enhance security at the same time.
These new technologies will require a lot of data collection and analysis. Digital concierge recommendations and travel suggestions may require personally identifying information to be uploaded and stored in the cloud, which can make personal safety a concern. It’s only a matter of time before that data is breached. The companies pioneering this tech will need to set a strong precedent for taking privacy and security seriously.
With current airport security systems, passengers are generally aware of when they’re scanned, who’s doing the scanning, and what the scan is looking for. Automated scans that happen instantaneously can take away a person’s consent, which could be problematic. While there are still a few unknowns with how AI will affect travel, the industry is heading for some very interesting destinations.