"According to legend, when Airship bot was born, he flew to where thunder and lightning are released" Assistants & machine-learning solutions are disrupting the Travel sector, through automated solutions that are always looking for the best option for each user in an interactive and personal way. We also got inspired by the 1.3 billion people who use Messenger every month and the 8 billion messages that are exchanged between people and businesses each month.
What it does Airship?
With Airship you can find, book and buy from low cost flights to many other setup conditions the users have… For example, you want to find a flight to Japan we’re your maximum budget is $990, in this case the algorithms are going to try to find everyday that combination, and if he finds it, he either can buy it to you through your Visa Card: or send you an automatic alert where you can buy them. Also Airship has been trained to help users with the United Airlines MilagePlus program, benefits & enrollment. You can see how it works:
How I built it
The solution is a mashup between the integrations of multiple APIs: for the payments we use Visa API, for the speech recognition we use Speech API, for the Natural Processing Language (NLP) we use Dialogflow, for the real time data flights information we use United Airlines API and for the storage of the reservations we use Sheets API. All of this APIs, integrated through cloud functions to our back-end in Firebase and FB Messenger.
Challenges I ran into
The time frame for the challenge is short, so you have to invest really good your time, and develop killer app functionalities that feets the users needs and goals.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Building an agent that can transform the Travel industry, is a great opportunity to open new and revolutionary ways on how people can manage, buy and book their flight(s) needs, through voice & conversational commerce. We are also proud of have trained the agent's NLP model in +3500 IATA (International Air Transport Association) airport codes for the reservations. As well, the fact that the Bot is Available for Public at Messenger
What I learned
That in order to build great things, you need to be decide to face every single challenge you can find on your way. Also, our team learned that businesses and customers now exchange 8 billion messages a day on Messenger, up from 2 billion from last year, and finally that Messaging apps now have the largest numbers of active users, having overtaken social media apps in 2015, as well that Facebook Messenger has a one billion strong user base.
Furthermore, we learned about the transformation that is passing through the Travel Industry with the incorporation of artificial intelligence, smart speakers & apps that seem poised to become the world’s virtual travel agents. According to the Harvard Business Review: "The adoption of smart speakers is even outpacing that of smartphones a decade ago: An NPR-Edison Research study found that 18% of adults in the United States, or 43 million people, now own a smart speaker. Worldwide, ownership exceeds 100 million units and is projected to reach 225 million by 2020".
What's next for Airship
Be one of the prestigious members of the Visa Developer & United Airlines communities, to keep opening opportunities in different challenges, keep trying deeper assistants functionalities for the Travel sector, and focusing on the most relevant actions for our user's daily lives.