Reviews in an AI era

Can AI improve our travel experience?

I like to travel. I like discovering new destinations, new places, new types of foods; and like most of us I use an internet search to learn about my fellow digital citizens experiences.

And lately leveraging reviews to make a decision has been a real challenge.

Almost every time I search a new destination and try to come up with accommodation options; either a hotel, a b&b or an shared apt, I can get up to 100 reviews on a single place, made by different people, with different needs and wants.

I read that while Bill liked the breakfast, he thought the pool was a bit small; but then Debra thought the pool and the jacuzzi were the best, but breakfast was bland.

So who’s side should I take? Bill or Debra? Do I look-a-like like Bill or like Debra? I understand that we all view products and services over different lenses; so while for some, a product might be good enough; for others, it could be lacking.

What I end up doing, is trying to relate to the words or phrases on each review; to understand if I am more like Bill or Debra; I try to read the subtext to understand their motivations, read previous reviews and destinations to understand if either of them is a traveler like.

But it takes a lot of time to do that. I wonder if we could come up with a better way to do this?

I like trying local food on each place to learn about their culture; I would spend some extra money to go to a local chef place than a burger chain. I prefer to walk and don’t like renting cars (I prefer public transport where available), while on vacation I don’t enjoy a swimming pool (I came here to discover!), I enjoy museums and any excursion that lets me time travel to better understand our history.

What I am trying to say is that I have a very specific profile and I am sure there are many more like me that have look-a-like profiles.

But yet; when it’s time to read and discover new destinations over my screen, I’m debating if I’m Bill or Debra.

Most of the travel sites have incorporated tags to each reviewer “foodie”, “travel like a local”, “pool crazy”; but yet every time I’m reading a review; I would like to know how much they are like me or my travel companion.

With the broad availability of machine learning algorithms, AI platforms, social logins and user interaction with travel sites; I would like the platform where I post my reviews, comments and like to leverage my profile to show me up to 6 reviews from people with the same interests or “views” that I have: three positive and three negative to compare. This filtering would be available just for me; and it would enable me to discover and review much faster than my current experience.

Wouldn’t that be nice?