AI-Powered Concierge: Priceline and Google Partner to Enhance Travel Experience

AI-Powered Concierge: Priceline and Google Partner to Enhance Travel Experience

New York visitors seeking a hotel near a Christmas market, a vegan restaurant, or a particular tourist attraction may soon find the process more streamlined, thanks to an upcoming partnership between Google and Priceline. The collaboration aims to bring Google's artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to Priceline's platform as early as this summer, according to the companies.

The online travel agency, part of Booking Holdings, plans to introduce an advanced AI chatbot for trip planning and provide hotel recommendations that resemble the service of a "personal concierge," tailored to individual users. The announcement was made by Priceline's chief technology officer, Martin Brodbeck.

"When you're actually booking your hotel, you can easily find out that in Bryant Park there's a Christmas market that runs from early November all the way through the beginning of January," Brodbeck said.

Priceline will leverage new tools from Google's cloud division, harnessing generative AI akin to the technology behind OpenAI's ChatGPT, capable of generating human-like text. This technology will not only draft personalized responses but will also extract relevant information like hotel prices from existing data to ensure accurate recommendations.

The adoption of AI technology could give Priceline a competitive edge over numerous travel marketing platforms, including Google itself. The partnership was driven more by Google's capabilities than competition, according to Brodbeck.

For Google, promoting business through AI represents a strategic move to close the gap with cloud service rivals Amazon and Microsoft. The company's ability to develop applications based on its pioneering technology has attracted new and existing customers, as noted by Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud's CEO.

"There is a kind of a Cambrian moment happening now where there's an explosion of this technology," Kurian told Reuters, likening the current AI boom to the prehistoric period that saw a rapid emergence of new species.

Among other applications, Google's AI will provide coding suggestions for hundreds of software developers at Priceline. The travel agency will also adopt Google's search capabilities for employee intranets. Moreover, Google's AI is expected to accelerate marketing for trending destinations, generating images and accompanying text to create engaging content.

As the boundaries of AI continue to expand, partnerships like this signal a future where AI's role in enhancing and personalizing consumer experiences becomes increasingly commonplace.