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Business News/ Companies / News/  MakeMyTrip ties up with Microsoft for voice-assisted bookings in Indian languages
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MakeMyTrip ties up with Microsoft for voice-assisted bookings in Indian languages

Initially, a select group of MakeMyTrip users will have access to the voice-assisted feature in English and Hindi.

The pilot aims to facilitate quicker and easier travel arrangements for users who struggle with mobile phones or computers..Premium
The pilot aims to facilitate quicker and easier travel arrangements for users who struggle with mobile phones or computers..

MUMBAI: MakeMyTrip, one of India’s leading online travel companies, is testing a voice-assisted booking solution to cater to customers who struggle with mobile phones or computers. The pilot aims to facilitate quicker and easier travel arrangements for these users.

Initially, a select group of MakeMyTrip users will have access to the voice-assisted feature in English and Hindi. The company plans to extend the platform to other Indian languages, such as Bhojpuri and various southern dialects, in the near future.

To develop this innovative technology, MakeMyTrip has teamed up with Microsoft, leveraging the Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Azure Cognitive Services to power the in-platform tech stack.

The platform will soon converse with the user in their language to offer personalized travel recommendations based on their preferences; curate holiday packages based on variable inputs like occasion, budget, activity preferences, and time of travel, and even help book these holiday packages.

The next stage of the 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.

“We are proud to introduce a feature that breaks down the barriers of language, literacy, inability to navigate complex app environments, physical impairments, etc," said, Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip. “Earlier, we offered language support in Hindi and Tamil, but it was still text format, and while we were solving with vernacular languages, it didn’t take off because the regional language keyboards are complex. Now, with voice-assisted booking, we solved for other barriers too. This Generative AI integration through our collaboration with Microsoft involves simple visual cues and voice commands in native Indian languages that will alter the landscape of travel bookings hereon forth."

The new offering uses the power of AI and Machine Learning to make travel-related solutions all-pervasive, no matter the use case or scenario. Microsoft’s large language models and Indic language speech models, coupled with MakeMyTrip’s natural language understanding capability and travel domain content create the base for users to interact with the platform in any Indian language.

In an earlier interaction, Sanjay Mohan, Group Chief Technology Officer, MakeMyTrip, had told Mint about the company’s plans to use AI-based voice assistance to simplify bookings.

“We are delighted to introduce changes to our platform that align with our 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. As such, we’ll do a very controlled roll-out of this feature with a subset of our customers," Mohan added.

Sangeeta Bavi, Executive Director, Digital Natives, Microsoft India, said, “Bringing together MakeMyTrip’s expertise with Microsoft’s AI capabilities, including Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, our collaboration will help make travel more inclusive and accessible for travellers across India, with trust and security at the core."

The intuitive interface powered by Azure OpenAI Service’s GPT technology, will analyse specific user requirements and sift through multiple options to recommend, customize and book holiday packages, transforming a time-consuming process into a quick and hassle-free experience, the company said.

For the partners also, the service will summarize hotel reviews, extracting unique traveller impressions, that are cohort-specific - whether a solo traveller, business traveller, couple, family, etc.

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Published: 08 May 2023, 03:25 PM IST
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