Mezi unveiled a new version of its travel bot today that lets you automatically check in to flights, cancel and reschedule flights, make sure you get a vegetarian meal on the plane, or buy off-menu items like cruises and car rentals.
The new bot now communicates primarily with text, whereas the previous version was structured with buttons that gave users fewer options.
Here’s a closer look at the updated bot.
Using Mezi can take longer than a simple search engine, but the service takes into account each user’s preferences. The hotel scheduler is entirely driven by AI, while flights are a combination of AI and human travel agents. Human agents allow for more customization and offer a safety net for a technology that too often fails, said cofounder Swapnil Shinde.
“Mezi as a superbot can never fail. That’s the end goal, that if you have an AI bot then it will fail because it will not understand certain things,” he said. “But in our case if it fails, the human will reply back to the user and train the AI so that the next time the human doesn’t need to reply back.”
Mezi is driven by humans assisted by artificial intelligence, something cofounders (and brothers) Swapnil and Snehal Shinde assert makes it more of a personal concierge capable of anything, not just a replication of a travel booking app or website.
Mezi announced today’s news during VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2016 conference. The company is one of several bot makers using AI to allow employees to do less with more, only intervening when the AI fails to help a customer. Teachers have started to use chatbots to increase efficiency, and San Francisco MobileBeat botathon winner Bottender wants its bot to reshape the restaurant experience.
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