Kayak launched new AI features that let people ask a chatbot for travel tips and find flights with just a screenshot. This brings Kayak in line with many other travel sites that offer AI services for trip planning and, now, price comparisons.

PriceCheck, one of Kayak’s two new AI features, lets users check if they found the best price just by taking a screenshot of flight information they found somewhere else. Kayak said in a statement that customers can upload a screenshot of any flight, even if they found the flight on their competitors’ websites, and PriceCheck will “search hundreds of sites to see if we can find a better price.” 

Matthias Keller, chief scientist and senior vice president of technology at Kayak, said in an email to The Verge that the service uses AI to extract information from screenshots, like schedules and airlines, and searches the internet for cheaper flights utilizing the customer’s parameters. 

“It’s used to surface relevant content for the user as well as compelling alternatives,” Keller said. “It is also a way for us to attract new users, including those loyal to a specific airline or program, because Kayak Pricecheck might also find a better price, even within this preferred provider.”

This type of AI is called computer vision, where models can scan a photo or a PDF and extract information like key terms or objects. Google, Microsoft, and Apple have been using computer vision for years to identify faces in your photos to tag them or search for terms in a badly scanned PDF.

Kayak also wants to make it easier for customers to get answers for any travel-related questions. Travelers can prompt the Kayak chatbot, Ask Kayak, if they have any questions about travel planning or are looking to narrow down places to stay or things to do. For example, people can ask the chatbot questions like, “What is the cheapest destination I can fly to this weekend?” or “Give me a hotel under $300 a night in New York City.” 

Ask Kayak is currently available to users in the United States, the UK, and Canada but will be rolled out to other territories soon. The company built Ask Kayak with ChatGPT. 

Since generative AI services became popular, travel planning was one of the first use cases it was expected to disrupt. Kayak is not the only travel website exploring how generative AI can improve how customers search for flights or hotels. Expedia told The Verge it wants to use more AI features to get more people to begin their travel planning on the site rather than Google. 

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