Nokia adds Desti AI to travel planning

Nokia’s HERE division has announced that they will be incorporating newly acquired Desti technology into their maps hopefully giving travelers a more personalized travel planning experience.

Desti helps travelers plan their trips more effectively by using artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology. Desti is a spin-off from SRI International, the same research and innovation center that produced Siri and Nuance.

“Desti uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to create deep knowledge of destinations by reading everything about them,” said Don Zereski, HERE VP of Search and Places. “For instance, Desti mines the descriptions and reviews of places to understand the difference between a business or a romantic hotel. Unlike traditional search engines, which index keywords, Desti analyzes the context around the questions people are asking, looking for meaning and intent by aiming to create a natural dialogue with them. The search results are therefore more relevant because they naturally take into account people’s preferences. They are not the same for everyone and people don’t have to then pick through the results; a tedious process we would all be happy to avoid.”

It sounds like a good idea assuming that it works as advertised (although I’m sure there are going to be some humorous and sometimes frustrating results as the technology advances).

“We want to create a new class of location services that implicitly understands who you are and what you’re looking for, sometimes even before you ask,” said Zereski.

I don’t know about you but when I think of travel planning apps and services Nokia doesn’t instantly pop into my head. In fact I didn’t even realize they had their own maps or were even thinking about getting into the travel planning biz. Perhaps this is just the first swipe at incorporating voice recognition with AI-based personal assistant technology without coming off as a ‘me too’ Siri clone.

Anyway, I hope it works out for them and people planning a romantic getaway to Greece don’t end up in Athens Georgia instead.