OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, has been integrated by Expedia Group and Kayak, making them the first travel companies to do so.
Both companies have developed plugins for ChatGPT, enabling the platform to retrieve their data and utilize it to address user inquiries.
OpenAI’s Yaniv Markovski writes, “ChatGPT will intelligently decide between calling a plugin and handling a user’s query using its intrinsic knowledge. For example, the model may decide that a question about current events requires calling a browser plugin, but may feel comfortable answering a very simple math or science question without using a plugin. The user can always nudge the model to use a plugin by asking the model to use a plugin explicitly, like ‘Use Expedia to plan my NYC trip.”
Kayak’s plugin is more interactive, aiding the consumers to have pertinent dialogue with the search engine and get solutions to their queries. For instance, a consumer can type in ‘I am looking for a park in Dallas with swings and slides where I can take my kids to’ and ChatGPT will prompt Kayak to furnish relevant recommendations, which when clicked take one to Kayak’s app.
“We’ve had several chat products in the past – voice and text-based – and initially it wasn’t a great experience to go through all these results … but when you are in early exploration … I think there are a lot of use cases for having ChatGPT support you in that and that’s really exciting,” says Matthias Keller, chief scientist at Kayak.
“Right now, we can see the beginning of a few examples like searching for a flight and hotel in the same question or asking it to compare destinations. It’s definitely very impressive technology.”
ChatGPT users can also get details of flights, rental accommodations from Vrbo, experiences etc using Expedia’s plugin before clicking through to Expedia to book their trip.
Expedia Group’s Chief Technology Officer, Rathi Murthy, responded via email when asked about the integration of ChatGPT technology into the search function on their brand websites. She said, “It’s safe to assume that we’re continuing to experiment with its technology.”
According to Kayak, their collaboration with OpenAI began just a few weeks ago. CEO Steve Hafner expressed his admiration for the company’s diligent handling of user privacy concerns.
“For instance, we don’t see the conversations. We see that ChatGPT wants to have flight prices from [for example] New York to San Francisco, but we have no insight into how it was asked, how the decision was made, how the whole conversation looks. This is all abstracted from us,” says Keller.
“If I search, the only information available is that it is a person from Massachusetts searching. So, it is very limited insight we have, but we definitely will be interested in finding out what people are trying to do and how to support these use cases better.”
Plugins have also been created by OpenTable, Shopify, Klarna, Slack, Instacart and many other companies other than Expedia and Kayak.
ChatGPT has plans to expand availability in the near future. As of now, it has opened up its plugins to Plus subscribers, and a waitlist has been created for those interested in accessing them.
Trip.com introduced a chatbot on its mobile app in February utilizing an API from OpenAI, features of which closely resemble those of ChatGPT.
Gauging Sentiment and Prospects in the Hospitality Industry – A New Study by NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality & Boston Consulting Group
New Data Reveals Optimal Booking Times for Summer Travel, Empowering Travelers to Save
Shocking Allegations: Las Vegas Hotel Housekeeper Faces Accusations of Stealing Jewelry Valued at $1 Million