Looking for a hotel in New York that’s close to a Christmas market, a vegan eatery, or some other specific interest? Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) will be powering a virtual travel assistant on Priceline, according to announcements from both companies.
This online travel company, a subsidiary of Booking Holdings, plans to introduce an advanced chatbot for trip planning and personalized hotel suggestions, likened to “a personal concierge”, as early as this summer, stated Martin Brodbeck, Priceline’s Chief Technology Officer.
“In the process of booking your hotel, you can easily discover that Bryant Park hosts a Christmas market from early November to the beginning of January,” Brodbeck added.
Tools provided by Google’s cloud division grant Priceline access to generative AI, similar to the technology underpinning ChatGPT, capable of producing human-like text. These tools also pull accurate information such as hotel prices from existing data.
The adoption of this cutting-edge technology could potentially give Priceline a competitive advantage over numerous travel websites, including Google. Brodbeck stressed that it was Google’s capabilities, rather than competition, that spurred this partnership.
For Google, the move to use AI to drive business could help close the gap with rivals Amazon and Microsoft, where it currently ranks a distant third in the provision of cloud services like data storage.
Google Cloud’s ability to build applications on top of the technology it developed has appealed to both new and existing customers, says Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.
“There’s a Cambrian moment unfolding right now, with a surge in this technology,” Kurian told Reuters, alluding to the prehistoric era known for its remarkable proliferation of new species.
Kurian didn’t comment on how free corporate trials are impacting Google Cloud’s profitability, but he mentioned that the company prioritizes cost efficiency and believes that with superior products, the “business will take care of itself.”
In addition, Google’s AI will provide coding suggestions to hundreds of Priceline’s software developers, Brodbeck said. Priceline will also utilize Google’s search functionality for its employee intranets, and Google’s AI will accelerate marketing for popular travel destinations.
Brodbeck suggested that Google’s AI could create images such as beautiful beaches, combined with compelling AI-generated copy.