Business travelers believe artificial intelligence can make corporate travel safer, though many are hesitant to share certain types of data needed to help AI flourish.
According to a new study from SAP Concur, 52% of business travelers in the United Kingdom believe the use of AI can result in safer travel. Respondents say the technology would be beneficial in predicting risk alerts around natural disasters, and 75% say AI can help create more personalized experiences.
However, they’re also reluctant to provide certain types of data. Business travelers say they would share their email addresses (54%), travel preferences (52%) and gender (46%), but they would be less willing to share their residence (25%), biometrics (27%) and phone number (33%).
“From safety to preference, AI will change the very core of the travel experience for the better. And yet, the results reveal a trust issue that could be detrimental to these visions becoming a reality,” says Chris Baker, senior vice president and managing director of EMEA North at SAP Concur.
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“AI systems need data in order to learn. Without data they aren’t able to improve and, at the moment, it seems that people are not willing to share data - biometrics aside - that they happily swap via social platforms on the internet every day of the week.
Companies building AI systems have to demonstrate that data privacy, protection and governance is at the core of their offering. It’s their responsibility to show they can be trusted because unless they win consumers over, the scope of AI to deliver on user expectations will be fundamentally impinged.”
When asked what an AI-supported future business trip looks like, respondents say they see advantages around automated travel expensing (23%), automated recommended actions based on events such as canceled flights (19%) and personalized restaurant recommendations (18%).
Just 12% say they see chat bots as useful, though 64% see the benefit in voice assistants and 50% in language-capable robots.
“That 92% of respondents indicated that they had already interacted with some form of AI demonstrates how embedded the technology is becoming in everyday life," Baker says. "The challenge now is to utilize these platforms in order to deliver tangible benefits to travelers."