There isn’t a single day when the tech community doesn’t talk about the upcoming wave of bots. Chat has emerged as a popular medium for brands to communicate with their customers which is clearly indicated by the investors’ interest in chat based concierge services. Now brands are exploring the possibility of speeding up the process by introducing bots and artificial intelligence in the mix. In India, Tripoto made the first move in this direction and introduced Tripoto.Ai. The product received positive feedback on Product Hunt as well.
Thousands of travellers share their travel experiences everyday on Tripoto allowing millions to easily plan their trips. They are aiming to use the diverse perspective of travellers in their community to make Tripoto.Ai the best and fastest learning AI system in travel.
We spoke with Michael Lyngdoh, Co-Founder of Tripoto to learn more about Tripoto.Ai and the future of chat bots in travel. Here is an excerpt from the conversation:
What was the idea behind Tripoto.Ai?
The intention was to serve a larger audience and also create hooks for users to engage more deeply with our application. While itineraries serve a large number of customers we noticed that a lot of our users wanted to get answers to specific questions that they had in mind. We have a large and ever-growing user generated content/data set available to us. We realised that a self-learning AI based engine that uses our UGC would be the best way to answer these questions. We wanted to keep it Ai based because it scales up easily, answers instantly and is available 24*7. An AI based system also utilizes our advantage of having a huge data source.
We have seen a shift towards chat as a medium for providing services? What do you think is the reason for this shift?
Chat based applications are widely used today for communication with WhatsApp and WeChat leading the way. Users are very comfortable using chat as a medium to interact and this behavioural shift is driving the use of chat as a medium for providing services.
Do you think AI can match the level of human service?
AI can match the level of a human but it will take time for the system to learn and a lot of data. Till then AI can answer basic to medium level difficulty questions reasonably well and respond to 80% queries. The remaining 20% can be fed by humans. This leads to ease of scaling, instant responses for most queries and 24*7 availability.
How do you plan to take it further? Once out of beta, do you see it attracting enough users to become the prime choice of your users for trip planning?
We are currently integrating the AI into every part of our application while continuously making it smarter. The Tripoto AI will become your online travel persona which knows you, travels with you, helps you record and share your memories and plans personalised holidays with you. The AI system will act as a gateway to lead the users to other parts of the Tripoto Application – Publishing, Search, Itineraries, Hotels etc.
It is rumoured that Facebook will open up the Messenger to third party developers soon. What opportunities do you see there?
I think it’s a great distribution opportunity for us. Microsoft has already opened up its platform. We look forward to distributing our service on all major chat applications as possible.
It will be interesting to see how other travel brands react to this development. With an increase in number of such services, it won’t be a surprise if a large number of apps start featuring chat as the prime consumer facing interface.
You can check out Tripoto.Ai here.