makemytrip: MakeMyTrip collaborates with Microsoft to introduce voice assisted booking in Indian languages

MakeMyTrip said on Monday it has collaborated with Microsoft to make travel planning more ‘inclusive’ and ‘accessible’ by introducing voice assisted booking in Indian languages.

The new, in-platform tech stack powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Azure Cognitive Services, will converse with the user to offer personalized travel recommendations based on their preferences, curate holiday packages based on variable inputs like occasion, budget, activity preferences, time of travel, etc., and even help book these holiday packages.

Currently, the beta version of this integration has been introduced in English and Hindi for flights and holidays customers.

Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group CEO of MakeMyTrip said this Generative AI integration through the collaboration with Microsoft involves ‘simple’ visual cues and voice commands in native Indian languages,that will alter the landscape of travel bookings.

“We have pioneered offerings at the intersection of e-commerce, travel, and technology, and are proud to introduce a feature that breaks down the barriers of language, literacy, inability to navigate complex app environments, physical impairments etc,” he added.

The company said the next stage of voice assisted booking flow will cover other transport offerings. The feature has been embedded into the landing page of the platform and can be activated with a single click.

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MakeMyTrip said its latest offering uses AI and machine learning to make travel-related solutions ‘all pervasive’ through Microsoft’s large language models and Indic language speech models.Sanjay Mohan, Group Chief Technology Officer, MakeMyTrip said these ‘revolutionary changes’ align with the company’s philosophy of leveraging tech to solve real consumer problems.

“The new update will elevate the user experience and make our platform more inclusive, accessible, and easy to navigate. The beta phase will offer us learnings to further fine-tune all use cases before rolling it out to users at scale,” he said.

Currently we are taking it live for 3-5% of the population right away and then we will see the response and will ramp it up. This is our typical rollout process. We want to ramp it up as soon as possible,” he added.

Sangeeta Bavi, executive director, Digital Natives at Microsoft India, said in terms of AI and generative AI, a lot of the businesses are experimenting with the technology to either create rich customer experiences or for driving the cross sell, up sell of their products.

“The use of AI is no longer about a cost line for any business. It’s about increasing the top line. With MakeMyTrip, we are looking at overcoming some of the language barriers with this technology. Our collaboration will help make travel more inclusive and accessible for travelers across India, with trust and security at the core,” she added.

MakeMyTrip said the intuitive interface powered by Azure OpenAI Service’s GPT technology, will analyse specific user requirements and sift through thousands of options, to recommend, customize and book holiday packages. It will also summarize hotel reviews, extracting unique traveller impressions that are cohort specific.

Magow said one of the opportunities that all companies in the e-commerce space have been trying to tap into is how to turn more internet users into e -commerce users.

“The real opportunity is for users who have a household income of Rs 4-10 lakh in terms of making them transact online from only being internet or WhatsApp users. With this background, we thought about what could be the potential solution for them leveraging technology,” he added.

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