Next time you go to Japan take Miko along to help you plan your vacation and see the sights. Miko is a super-smart chatbot, which is fuelled by artificial intelligence (AI) and designed to take the guesswork out of travelling. It is the star of the Japan Trip Navigator – a new smartphone app created by Microsoft in partnership with two Japanese companies – travel agency, JTB Corp., and navigation firm, Navitime Co.
Miko and the app’s other AI technologies let travellers get more out of their experiences. Miko is integrated with image recognition functions on Microsoft’s Cognitive Services AI platform, enabling it to recognise, search out, and provide information related to photos from app users.
Japan Trip Navigator already includes more than 100 model sightseeing-travel plans in five areas surrounding Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Fukuoka, and Okinawa, with information on more than 3,600 popular spots. This list will grow as more tourists use the app and upload information and images about their trips as they use the app to create their own personalised itineraries.
Miko is learning all the time. The more travellers use Japan Trip Navigator, the smarter and more knowledgeable Miko becomes. A record 28.69 million foreign tourists visited Japan last year and about 80 per cent travelled on their own, the Japan Times reported.
“We have created Japan Trip Navigator to help individual travellers plan their trips, depending on their needs,” JTB’s Yasuhiro Tsuboi said at a recent news conference. “This app supports them before and while they are visiting to make their trips more enjoyable.”
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