Use ChatGPT to ‘supplement’ staffing shortages, advises AI specialist

Travel agents have been encouraged to use ChatGPT as a tool to “supplement” staffing shortages.

In a workshop at the Advantage Travel Partnership’s annual conference in Cancun, Mexico, director of Manchester-based software company Lokulus Mark Chamberlain urged agents to “embrace” artificial intelligence but to “keep a human in the loop” and to do so “with caution”.

“Use ChatGPT as a co-pilot to guide, assist and prompt,” Chamberlain told attendees. “The demographic of the industry is changing; the sector lost a lot of people during the pandemic, so now there are far fewer knowledgeable individuals than there were.

“ChatGPT should be seen as a way to supplement their knowledge – it can be used to fill the void created by the number of people who left the sector because of Covid.”

More: Advantage steps up training and development initiatives

He said that while the technology can be easily adopted to aid and improve marketing activity, it offers no personalisation and can provide inaccurate results, meaning the content it produces must be checked by a human before use.

“If I was a travel agent providing information to a customer, for example the 10 things I’d recommend seeing and doing in Australia, I’d want to use my own data rather than the world’s data, and call upon my own experiences,” added Chamberlain.

He went on to say AI can also be a useful tool for homeworkers who are not able to easily ask their colleagues for help and advice.

“Far more of us are now in this hybrid working environment,” he said. “If an agent is working at home, they haven’t got someone on the table next to them they can lean across and ask for help if they get stuck with a customer, like they can in a shop.

“But with ChatGPT they have that information at their fingertips.”

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