AI can help travel service firms better meet consumer needs, says Lotus executive
Yihan Li, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be applied to the travel service industry to better gauge the real needs of consumers through deep machine learning, according to CH Kuo, chief strategy officer of Lotus Group, a travel service and technology group based in Canada.

Kuo, who is leading the Taiwan branch of Lotus toward a smart operation, said that Taiwan travel service firms must strive to work out travel itineraries that can increase consumer experiences through the support of AI.

Kuo said that if consumers have a language barrier in travel, AI can help incorporate online translation service into their travel itineraries to let users of the service more easily know travel situations in advance and remind them of what to do before arriving at destinations. This is part of the service products developed by Lotus based on "thick data," Kuo added.

Unlike big data, thick data highlights the depth of data, utilizing qualitative research to analyze a few data samples to dig out insightful points which are likely to be neglected by big data, Kuo said, adding that the deep machine learning technology develop by his company is based on thick data, able to conduct detailed analysis of traditional travel packages and relevant situations consumers may encounter.

He stressed that AI should be based on the accumulation of intelligence rather than focused only on the development of technology, and therefore his company insists on "design for customer's need" by utilizing IT technologies to help upgrade traditional travel services.

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