Imagining the impact of artificial intelligence on travel

Rodrigo Acuna Agost

Head of AI Research, Amadeus IT Group

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I was delighted to speak about artificial intelligence (AI) at IATA’s Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Aviation Webinar together with three other panelists. We covered a range of topics during the webinar – from how AI will reshape travel to the competing moral views among tech leaders like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

AI, and in particular machine learning, is very important for Amadeus. We believe AI will simplify the travel journey. In a nutshell, people will spend much less time arranging travel and much more time enjoying the travel experience. Some examples of travel steps that may be impacted by AI are:

  • Inspire and shopping:

    At Amadeus, we are researching systems to suggest and predict travel choices, to offer a truly personalised experience. This will make travel planning speedier for travellers and increase conversion rates for travel providers.

  • Booking:

    AI systems will run in the background and help travel providers like airlines and OTAs better define their product offerings and services, priced dynamically.

  • In-Trip:

    Imagine a future without paper documents and queues. I also see a massive access to internet during travels, one of the main pain points of passengers traveling abroad. This improvement in connectivity will fuel the development of new AI travel assistants.

  • Post-Trip:

    There will likely be even more post-trip review systems. People will increasingly share their experiences and AI systems will use these reviews to improve the travel experience in the future.

We are investigating applications for blockchain, virtual reality, AI, and others as part of our corporate innovation program. I strongly believe in the value of merging these different technologies. For example, we are mixing AI (deep learning) with econometric models and behavioral economics, including the irrational behaviors of humans, to better model and predict traveller choices. We are also merging AI with very powerful operations research techniques that really optimise decision making processes.

We have more than 20 projects in development or in production with AI components. We are also looking at the long term and investing on AI research. Our research team is working on  initiatives including  improvements to airline revenue management systems, merchandising, digital advertising, and recommender systems for hotels, ancillary services, and flights.

At Amadeus, we are in a unique position to combine the knowledge from our large footprint in the travel industry with our focus on innovation. We believe that AI will enhance the overall travel experience and we have the talent in place around the world to make this a reality.


Artificial Intelligence