Desti Launches Out of SRI to Apply Siri-like Technology to Travel Planning

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by sobore, Nov 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Research institute SRI International has spawned companies including Apple’s virtual assistant Siri and smart news reader Trapit. Today the latest company to launch out of SRI, Desti, announced its free travel discovery and planning app for iPad. While travel discovery is crowded with both mobile and web-based tools, Desti is trying to take an artificial intelligence approach to helping people plan their trips and discover new places around the world.

    CEO Nadav Gur was formerly the founder and CEO of WorldMate, a mobile travel planning platform that was acquired by Carlson Wagonlit in October 2012. Gur said Desti’s smart travel guide is designed to save travelers from having to search multiple travel sites for flights, restaurants, and other on-the-ground activities, and to help them converse with the app like they would with a travel agent, asking questions and searching for keywords.

    Desti is showcasing travel information in northern California first, but eventually plans to branch out to other areas. The company’s technology combines natural language processing, semantic search, and a relevance engine to let users ask questions in everyday language, and get results based on their specific requirements. It’s like the tablet version of a real-life travel agent, letting users ask questions, get results, and refine those results without losing the context of their original request.

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