Google AI Tech To Be Leveraged By Online Travel Firm Priceline: Report

Priceline, an online travel agency under Booking Holdings, is set to leverage Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology as early as this summer, Reuters reported. Priceline plans to introduce an advanced chatbot for trip planning and personalised hotel recommendations, creating a tailored experience similar to that of a personal concierge. Martin Brodbeck, Priceline’s Chief Technology Officer, explained that users will be able to access specific information, such as the duration of a Christmas market in Bryant Park, while booking their hotel.

To enhance its services, Priceline will utilise Google’s cloud tools, which include generative AI capabilities like ChatGPT. These tools enable Priceline to generate text that mimics human writing and extract relevant information, such as hotel prices, from existing data to ensure accuracy.

For Google, this partnership represents an opportunity to compete with cloud service providers like Amazon and Microsoft by attracting businesses through AI-powered solutions. While Google has historically been ranked third in cloud services, leveraging AI could help close the gap.

In the travel industry, Priceline’s adoption of innovative technology on its website allows it to compete with various platforms offering travel options, some of which are also exploring AI-driven features. Rathi Murthy, Chief Technology Officer of Priceline’s rival, Expedia Group, mentioned that ChatGPT powers conversations on their smartphone app, offering travellers inspiration for destinations and booking options. Expedia and Kayak, another platform owned by Booking Holdings, have integrated travel suggestions through the standalone ChatGPT program.

Although Google has been a competitor for Priceline in the past, it was their cloud capabilities that led to this partnership. Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, highlighted the growing demand for generative AI technology and its ability to drive business applications.

As part of the collaboration, Google’s AI technology will provide coding suggestions for Priceline’s software developers. Priceline will also adopt Google’s search capabilities for employee intranets, and Google’s AI will expedite marketing efforts for trending travel destinations. Brodbeck mentioned that the AI could generate visually appealing images, such as beautiful beaches, paired with compelling generative AI copy to enhance marketing materials.

Although the report did not address the impact of free corporate previews on Google Cloud’s profitability, Kurian acknowledged the ongoing “Cambrian moment” for AI, referring to the rapid emergence and diversification of new species during the prehistoric era.

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