OpenJaw Technologies is developing a conversational chatbot which will be powered by IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence.
It has linked up with Dublin-based Ludex for the bot which is being built specifically to handle customer service queries for airlines, OTAs and loyalty schemes.
Ludex is an IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner.
OpenJaw believes that the bot - branded at OpenJaw t-Social - will allow travel businesses to handle more customer interactions, and has been developed in light of travellers making increased use of social channels to communicate with their travel provider. OpenJaw cites industry research which says social queries are growing by 20% a year.
It has been working with Ludex to "train t-Social on thousands of questions and answers using natural, conversational language...As a result, airline customers can get the right answers to their questions on Facebook Messenger."
And because the bot is powered IBM Watson, it can adjust its response, "becoming smarter in real time through machine learning".
Travellers can also use the bot to request boarding passes and flight confirmations.
For now it looks as if the focus is on Facebook Messenger, but OpenJaw CEO Kieron Branagan talked in terms of "travel consumers around the globe [living] on their mobile phone using social and messaging apps, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and WeChat."
The WeChat reference is worth noting. WeChat is China's largest mobile messaging platform while OpenJaw is owned by Chinese travel technology giant Travelsky.
Related reading from Tnooz:Very slowly, British travellers start to engage with bots (May17)
Car rental sector gets the message more clearly than hotels, OTAs and airlines (March17)
NB:Image by BigStock