Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel cited the “explosion of interest” in generative AI (artificial intelligence), but counseled that it would be prudent to be patient about delivering on its promises.
“But it’s important to remember that disruption has never been built in a day, and lasting innovation is iterative,” Fogel wrote on LinkedIn. “At Booking Holdings we have been using various types of AI across our brands for over a decade to remove friction from the travel process and our teams continue to explore what the best uses of this new transformative technology might be.”
Fogel cited the challenges, including reliable data sources, in turning artificial intelligence and related technologies into a better travel experience.
“I believe that generative AI and other technologies will play a key role in this new travel world, and many of us in the travel industry are investing right now to build the foundations,” he said. “However, there are going to be significant challenges. The problems of how to obtain real-time data from countless sources, process it all to result in optimal solutions, and then act rapidly to benefit consumers will not be solved overnight. Nevertheless, this is just one area, among many, where we are going, and travel will be better when we arrive.”
Fogel’s LinkedIn post was a tad more diplomatic than his comments last month when he discussed generative AI during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.
“Obviously, a lot of hype about AI right now, about generative AI,” Fogel said February 23.
Citing a “hype cycle,” and Booking’s long-time work in artificial intelligence, he said: “I’m not sure — I don’t think we’re into that froth of dissolution yet.”