Ever since technology has advanced in the service industry, the question has been, “What does this mean for workers?”
There isn’t a simple answer. However, there are still aspects to service that no one has figured out how to emulate with AI yet.
So, how are tech and the human touch working together?
Today’s guest, , Founder of , gives his insights on the changing landscape of data and AI technology—after founding six startups and working in IT for over 40 years, Terry knows his way around the field.
Join us as we discuss:
- The future of travel data
- The significance of cloud storage
- How AI still struggles with human behavior
Let’s dive into the future of AI and travel data!
The future of travel data
The travel industry is late to the AI table, but they’re catching up. With each innovation around delivering information to customers and eager travelers comes new opportunities for crafting better user experiences.
Futuristic ideas around AI and its capabilities are coming into fruition, and Terry has a unique view to witness and shepherd what that looks like in the travel industry.
Struggles with AI integration
That doesn't mean AI is not without its hiccups.
“In my company, we are trying to recommend to travel agents the best hotel in Cancun. And we never could get the agents to agree.” Terry said, sharing a struggle with implementing AI.
“They would say, “well, that's not the best hotel. How do you know?” And we would say, “well, we looked at 100,000 consumer reviews, we looked at real reviews, we looked at the hotels that won awards, and we say that's the best hotel,” he continued.
Because of their natural personal bias that reigns in everyone, the agents insisted the algorithm had the incorrect results.
Consumers look at AI curated lists and top recommendations with more openness—theiry’re approach comes from needing answers, and they don’t believe they have them.
Whereas with the agents, they had pre-decided, based on previous experience, which hotel was the best.
The kinks in the tube for integrating AI into travel resources are tenacious, but people like Terry will straighten them out.
“You can't just recreate the app, you have to reimagine what it can do. Understand that moving it to the cloud doesn't relieve you of all the problems.” — Terry Jones
The significance of cloud storage
Cloud storage has changed how we store, collect, and maintain information. The idea that one can have stacks and stacks of data inside the Cloud is still relatively new. However, it’s not a golden ticket for success.
3 tips from Terry
Utilizing Cloud storage is a balance.
Here are a few tips from Terry about how to support overall data management:
- Be the orchestrator — Data, no matter how it’s stored, needs to be managed and orchestrated at every endpoint.
- AI and MI are your friends — They enable customers to ask harder questions and get faster results.
- Train your people — Make sure your team knows the system inside and out to gain maximum impact from the technology at hand.
Implementing AI, MI, and the Cloud are game-changers from customer to CEO. Are you getting the most out of it that you could?
AI still struggles with human behavior
With the rapid ascent of AI, it would be easy to assume it would surpass human relevance in the service industry. That’s not the case.
Here’s why the human touch won’t be out of style in the service industry any time soon:
- Is that a golf course or only a 12in flag on grass?
Terry shared a story of an AI system mistaking a little flag as a golf course and making an incorrect recommendation for a hotel to a customer.
People can track nuance better than artificial intelligence.
- Teaching AI will take time
It may be a while yet until AI can successfully differentiate between unique language patterns, nuance, sarcasm, etc. with consistent results.
Our brains are built to process language and parrot it almost perfectly.
- People still respond best to real people
A broad statement for a complicated reality. However, when it comes down to it, people still feel more at ease when speaking with a living, breathing person on the other side of the phone/screen/etc.
We are made for connection.
The service industry will always need people
With every advancement comes more insights into what makes a truly exceptional experience for customers and workers alike. Leveraging technology to support natural human touch is a balance we should strive for.
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