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Expedia’s Romie: AI Innovation for Smarter, Personalized Travel

Romie
  • Expedia introduces Romie, an AI travel assistant for seamless trip planning and assistance, evolving through user interactions.
  • Romie integrates with user group chats, provides personalized recommendations, updates itineraries in real-time, and adapts to travelers’ needs.

Expedia Group introduced a cool new AI assistant called Romie, meant to be your travel buddy throughout your trip planning journey. Romie can assist with everything from figuring out where to go, to booking flights and accommodations, and even helping out if you need to make any changes along the way. Right now, Romie is in its early stages, called alpha version, and you can check it out on Expedia’s experimental products hub, EG Labs.

 “We believe in reimagining the travel experience, and then using the latest in AI to bring it to life, and with Romie, we’ve done just that,” Rathi Murthy, chief technology officer at Expedia Group, said in the release.

Romie is going to be part of the user’s SMS group chat, where it’ll be there to listen in on vacation plans and chip in with suggestions, as mentioned in the release. It’ll also use what it learns from these chats to make the shopping experience more personal, recommend restaurants and activities based on travel information from emails, and help out with any issues by offering suggestions.

Plus, while the trip is happening, Romie will be updating the user’s itinerary in real-time. This means everyone in the group chat can see what the traveler is up to and, if they’re picking them up from the airport, they can check when the flight is landing too, according to the release.

“We created an AI assistant with hyper personalization in mind so that travelers can choose when they want Romie’s help on their own terms,” Murthy said in the release. “Romie can assist throughout dreaming, planning and traveling or even when things don’t go as planned, all while getting more intelligent as the traveler interacts.”

In December 2023, Expedia revealed its intention to shake up how folks organize their trips and holidays using AI. They want to leverage their vast database of flight and hotel details along with what travelers prefer, to make planning journeys easier and drive more people straight to their website.

Then-CEO Peter Kern, when he announced he’d be leaving in February, talked about how they’ve smartened up their tech setup. He also mentioned how Expedia plans to use AI and machine learning to make work more efficient and give customers better service.

“And generative AI will only accelerate this trend,” Kern said.

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