Ask Skift will enhance how people discover stories and find the information they need from Skift.

Introducing Ask Skift, the AI Chatbot to Answer All Your Travel Industry Queries*

Skift Take

We are using AI to build the next, deeper phase of our relationship with you – indeed the next phase of Skift 11 years in – to graduate you from a Skift reader to a Skift user.

Today, we are very excited to announce Ask Skift, the AI chatbot answers engine specializing in the travel industry, here to be of service on your daily work queries. 

What does it do?

Go ahead, ask away any question, such as “How is Airbnb planning to leverage AI?” Or “Who is the new CEO of IHG?”. Or “Who are the owners of Ace Hotel?” Or, “Write me a short essay on the state of overtourism post-covid.”

How does it source the answers?

We have “trained” Ask Skift on all the sum totality of Skift archives over the last 11 years, including daily stories, research reports, all of our clients’ trends reports, our specialized products – Airline Weekly, Daily Lodging Report, and Skift Meetings – and all the U.S. public travel companies’ financial SEC annual and quarterly reports. As soon as a new story or report is published, it goes straight into Ask Skift.

And this is just the start: we will continue to train it on other specialized travel industry content and data in coming weeks in order to improve the answers and expand the universe of queries it can tackle.

What tech is it built on?

For now we have built this on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 deep learning artificial intelligence algorithm (a logic-learning machine, or LLMin short). We would really like to use GPT-4, which gives exponentially better answers (we know, we have been testing internally on both versions) but for now it is cost-prohibitive. We expect prices to come down later this year and will upgrade to it.

* One word of warning: for now it won’t be able to answer all your questions, mostly because there is more training and fine-tuning of the GPT LLM to come, more content to train it on, and most importantly, moving it to the more advanced GPT-4 version. We are fairly certain, though, it will not creep anyone out as some other AI bots have done.

Why launch this when it isn’t fully ready?

As with any generative AI foundational models today, we are in the early experimental phase of the algorithms and its efficacy. We believe launching a product now will help us learn all its use cases, make it more accurate, give us ideas on new features to build in, and frankly, figure out how to stay ahead of everyone else in the industry. 

One thing we have learned since starting Skift: the biggest fear of any new launch is the fear of being judged, and we are taking away that fear by…launching this and taking any and every critical feedback on it.

Where can you find Ask Skift chatbot?

You will find the Ask Skift bot on all pages in the bottom right-hand corner. The design is a nod to the original Skift luggage tag logo. Also, you can always go to where this chatbot has a “homepage” and will be the future home of other AI tools and services we plan to launch in coming weeks and months.

What are you planning to launch in the future?

For now we will continue to improve the answers’ accuracy and widen the scope of travel industry questions you can ask, from around the globe. We are also working to add other features such as instant report and chart generation, research report summary bots, earnings call query bots, event videos transcript and summary bot, and more. You’ll find all of our new AI tools on as they launch.

Who can access the Ask Skift chatbot?

Anyone. Well, for the first three questions a month, it is free. And after that, for unlimited access you will have to be a paid subscriber to any of Skift’s premium subscription services, such as our daily news service Skift Pro, our proprietary Skift Research, our Airline Weekly service, or the Daily Lodging Report newsletter. Check out all of our premium products, here, and subscribe today to get unlimited access to the chatbot. If you are an existing subscriber, then log in and ask away.

OK this is all great, but what is the reason for this launch, what is the hole it is filling?

Until now, we had a package-based relationship with our reader – a package we created and presented to you, in the form of a story, a research report or a conference. Now, with the new Generative AI tech, it is possible to have a Q&A based relationship with our users, at scale, in a way that just wasn’t feasible before. If we are the expert brand in the travel industry, we should have all the answers to your queries as we build this. For most part, we do, locked into various packages and this allows us to deconstruct our package and create custom answers to every query you have. 

That is the construct we are using to build the next, deeper phase of our relationship with you, indeed the next phase of Skift eleven years in, to graduate you from a Skift reader to a Skift user.

How can I get in touch with you for more feedback, partnership or any other questions?

There is always me, I am always accessible at [email protected].

The AI Chatbot for the Travel Industry

Better understand the business of travel with Skift’s new AI chatbot.

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Ask Skift Is the AI Chatbot for the Travel Industry

Go deeper into the business of travel with Skift’s new AI chatbot.

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Tags: artificial intelligence

Photo credit: Ask Skift will enhance how people discover stories and find the information they need from Skift. Skift

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