Skift Take

"Conversational search is about to get wildly useful and cleverly orchestrated across maps, points of interest, personalization, geo-location and enriched content."

I am back with another short video on my thoughts on AI+Travel, fourth in the series over last few months. Part 1, part 2 and part 3 are here.

Let’s talk about the most used app while traveling, Google Maps, and what could happen as it adds the conversational AI elements to it. Or to Waze, also owned by Google.

Back in April 2019, we did a deep dive on Google Maps, the superapp of the West, as the service became a nearly ubiquitous utility despite a dearth of messaging and payments, which is what usually people consider as integral to becoming a superapp, a la WeChat or Grab.

My contention in this video below: Maps powered by conversational AI will make it an even more dominant app — and incredibly useful and personalized — than it is today. Imagine the Google LLM (the AI algorithm, if you will) trained on the giant repository of location, navigation, reviews, user intent data, that then allows you to have a threaded conversation with the app, overlaid in a visual way over Maps. 

It will make searching for the right restaurants, hotels, attractions etc. a lot more relevant, based on our history already established within Maps. The video explains how.

Earlier this year, Google announced using AI to make immersive views inside the Maps app, which means new ways of visual representation. Then marry that to a chatbot and you will have a new superapp.

Excited to see when that happens with this from Google. Or really anyone else thinking through marrying conversational AI+location+visual representation.

Scott Baker puts it best in a comment on my LinkedIn post on this over the weekend: “Conversational search is about to get wildly useful and cleverly orchestrated across maps, points of interest, personalization, geo-location and enriched content. This is the way! I’ve been thinking about that 2019 article by Dennis Schaal since…2019! :)”

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Tags: artificial intelligence, chatbots, generative ai, google, google maps, maps, navigation, online travel newsletter

Photo credit: Google Maps could be the next killer app when paired deeply with conversational AI. Pictured is a city view. Google Maps

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