Вештачка интелигенција

Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Travel Planning?

Summary

Planning a vacation can be a daunting task. From researching destinations to creating itineraries, it requires time, effort, and careful consideration. But what if there was a way to simplify the process? Enter artificial intelligence (AI), a technology that has […]

Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Travel Planning?

Planning a vacation can be a daunting task. From researching destinations to creating itineraries, it requires time, effort, and careful consideration. But what if there was a way to simplify the process? Enter artificial intelligence (AI), a technology that has been making waves in various industries, including travel.

In recent years, generative AI, which uses prompts to generate content like text, images, or videos, has become more accessible to the public. Its potential to assist with travel planning has garnered attention and sparked curiosity around the world. People have been experimenting with AI tools, such as ChatGPT by OpenAI, to quickly and efficiently create travel plans.

As someone who enjoys travel planning as a hobby, I was intrigued to explore the potential and limitations of using AI for this purpose. I decided to use my own city, Edinburgh, as a test case for a three-day trip. Edinburgh is a well-known tourist destination and an ideal location for a quick getaway, even from the United States. It’s small enough to explore in a few days but offers rich history and tourist attractions to keep visitors engaged.

I used various AI tools, including ChatGPT, GuideGeek, Roam Around, Wonderplan, Tripnotes, and the Out of Office app, to create itineraries. Here’s how it all unfolded.

Travel Itineraries: An Art, Not a Science

A well-crafted travel itinerary goes beyond a mere list of attractions, neighborhoods, and local businesses. The best itineraries connect your days in a way that makes geographical and thematic sense. Traveling from attraction A to attraction B should be part of the fun, taking you through picturesque streets or providing unique viewpoints. Additionally, a well-designed itinerary considers that even the most cultured among us may experience museum fatigue after visiting three galleries.

Very few of the itineraries I sought from AI tools for Edinburgh met these criteria. Roam Around, Tripnotes, OOO, and Wonderplan clearly lacked an understanding of the city’s geography. On the other hand, ChatGPT and GuideGeek were much better at grouping attractions based on neighborhoods, creating one day dedicated to Edinburgh’s Old Town, another day around Holyrood and Arthur’s Seat, and a third day focused on the New Town.

The most absurd example of nonsensical itinerary planning came from OOO and Roam Around when I tested them for a seven-day trip around Scotland. Roam Around offered a fantastic array of activities and attractions throughout the country but suggested driving for hours to Edinburgh for each meal. On the other hand, OOO’s first day itinerary started with breakfast and a visit to a cemetery in Edinburgh, followed by a museum in Glasgow for lunch, Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands in the afternoon, and staying overnight on the Isle of Skye (with drinks and dinner in Edinburgh). This amounted to a total of over 10 hours of driving, and it only became more exhausting from there.

While I liked most of the suggestions the AI tools provided for Edinburgh and Scotland in general, both in terms of attractions and local businesses, the way all these elements were connected often proved counterproductive, except for ChatGPT and GuideGeek, which were able to create thematic and geographically linked itineraries when specifically challenged.

It is evident that many AI tools rely too heavily on information found elsewhere—a method that leaves you with what Laura Motta, Senior Editor at Lonely Planet, describes as “a Google search of eggs.” Lonely Planet is currently building its own AI tool, aiming to go beyond simply providing a list of must-visit places. Instead, it draws on expert sources to help people create itineraries around attractions that are worth visiting.

“Of course, you want to see the Eiffel Tower—maybe you don’t want to miss it if it’s your first time in Paris,” says Motta. But the goal is to introduce you to other things near the main attractions that you might otherwise overlook—perhaps a bakery or a square that houses an important historical monument. “It’s about striking a balance between seeing major attractions and exploring other things,” Motta adds. “And AI, as of now, isn’t good at recommending those other things.”

Evaluate, Verify, and Source

FAQ:

Q: How can AI assist with travel planning?
A: AI tools can help generate travel itineraries, suggest attractions, and provide information about local businesses.

Q: Do AI tools create well-designed itineraries?
A: While some AI tools can create decent itineraries, they often lack geographical and thematic coherence.

Q: How can AI tools improve their recommendations?
A: AI tools should incorporate reliable sources to ensure accurate information and consider a balance between major attractions and lesser-known spots.

Sources:
– [Lonely Planet](https://www.lonelyplanet.com)