Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Google’s Gemini can build an entire vacation itinerary “in a matter of seconds”

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Gemini, Google’s ChatGPT competitor, is getting new trip planning capabilities, the company announced today at its I/O developer conference.

Based on the user’s prompt, the AI model will now research publicly available information as well as tap into specific details like flight times and hotel bookings to work up a custom, multiday vacation itinerary “in a matter of seconds.”

In a briefing with reporters, Google’s VP and general manager of Gemini, Sissie Hsiao, said that manually planning a trip could “take me hours, days, maybe even weeks.” But with the help of Gemini, the process could be nearly instantaneous. And it will be “dynamic,” meaning it can be tweaked and adjusted through prompts and other requests thanks to Gemini’s new trip planning user interface.

Google is billing its AI model as offering something more than other chatbots by combining publicly available information with personal details that could only be found in someone’s inbox, for example.

According to the company, an example of a prompt could be something like “My family and I are going to Miami for Labor Day. My son loves art and my husband really wants fresh seafood. Can you pull my flight and hotel info from Gmail and help me plan the weekend?”

Gemini would then build its itinerary based on flight and hotel details included in a user’s email. The model will also tap into Google Maps to find nearby restaurants and cultural destinations and will filter out choices based on specific prompts, like dietary restrictions or things to avoid. Google says the new trip planning capabilities will be coming to Gemini Advanced in the coming months.

Of course, Google isn’t the first company to view trip planning as a fertile ground for AI chatbots. Expedia, Airbnb, Kayak, and others are investing in building out their own AI-powered trip planners in the hopes of steering customers away from search engines like Google.

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