EXPEDIA GROUP TECHNOLOGY — INNOVATION
AI, Personalization and Openness: Exploring the Definitive Tech Trends of 2023
Expedia Group’s chief architect shares predictions for the year ahead
2022 was the year the world started moving again. In the second quarter of this year alone, lodging bookings globally reached a record high at Expedia Group™️. With the Traveler Value Index indicating that people have an even greater desire to travel in 2023, building on this momentum with new innovations and new platform capabilities is key for this year.
The same is true when it comes to utilizing technology. 2022 saw significant breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence with models like Chat GPT-3 and DALL-E showing the enormous possibilities this technology is still capable of unlocking. Building on these new possibilities to deliver personalized experiences, better products and services, and more open innovation points to an exciting year for tech. The following points below are what we believe will be the defining technology trends for 2023:
Tech gets (hyper) personal
Data, artificial intelligence and machine learning have ushered in a new era of personalized experiences, particularly in the travel and retail sectors. Expect personalized recommendations and experiences to get even more sophisticated, from landing on a home page automatically tailored to your preferences to on-screen airport flight information based on your unique itinerary.
Search is one area where AI will continue to improve personalization and relevancy. Right now, looking for a hotel means sifting through lots of options — the sheer volume can be overwhelming and add complexity to the decision-making process. At Expedia Group we built a Smart Shopping product that uses AI to read through millions of room rate descriptions and pull out key attributes like room features and upgrades to help travelers pick their best options.
The recent breakthroughs with ChatGPT also open a lot of new possibilities in helping you plan your next trip — this chatbot can create a trip itinerary for you or recommend top hotel options, and then automatically add them to your trip board.
Platforms become more open and accessible
Open architecture and open source software is becoming the default for technologists everywhere, which is great for interoperability and innovation. More accessible data and open APIs make it easier for developers to build platforms and services that leverage AI to delight customers, but the tech industry still has a lot of work to do before we can fully realize the potential of the data it creates and holds.
Expect even greater focus on portability and flexibility from across the tech industry as organizations prioritize pooling their siloed data to gain a competitive advantage. This helps democratize data and leverage machine-learning models across the entire ecosystem — essential for the AI-powered personalized experiences that customers are starting to expect as standard. An example of this at Expedia Group is the Price Tracking and Predictions product we built for flight bookings. It uses our flight shopping data and machine learning to map past trends and develop future predictions on price for a flight route, so travelers can understand the best time to book.
Human-centric design is in the spotlight
For years now, consumer focus has been actively shifting from products to services to experiences — a trend accelerated by the pandemic as we all seek more meaningful connections. Technology should be an enabler of great experiences but all too often, poor design means it can be a barrier to the end user. Thankfully, this is changing. We’re now on the cusp of an era when human-centric design and cutting-edge technology will combine to enhance and personalize interactions at all points of the customer journey. This is a shift from reactive customer service to predictive and proactive service where brands are solving problems before the customer knows they exist.
A human-centric approach to design can create value and accelerate innovation for businesses in all sectors. Smart companies are waking up to this fact and are putting people at the heart of their products, unlocking greater engagement and better connecting to their customers.
AI might feel the frost
AI and machine learning are two of the most hyped technologies around and with good reason — the transformational possibilities are huge, and use cases are virtually unlimited. Technology companies see the value of data-driven personalization; encouraged by this, many are pouring huge sums of cash into exploring the full potential of AI, but skeptics point out that this trend is a precursor to an imminent AI winter.
While that feels premature, things might get a bit chilly. An uncertain global economy and tightening budgets could put increased pressure on technology leaders to demonstrate a real return on investment for AI.
There are other trends that will unfold in 2023, but these are some of the areas we’re focused on, and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store!