No industry is benefiting more from advances in machine learning than travel, Oliver Heckmann, a Google vice president for engineering, said Thursday at the Skift Tech Forum in San Francisco. 

Machine learning is probably changing our entire industry more than any other industry in the world, for one reason,” Heckmann said. “Language barriers are a huge obstacle for our customers traveling to other places and experiencing other cultures. The advances in machine learning directly feed into improvements in machine translation.”

It is an interesting argument. Google is making a major push into travel, allowing customers to book plane tickets, hotels and packages, and increasingly it is helping travelers access stuff they never might have found on their own. But if they can’t understand the language, whether ahead of time or once they get there, travelers might be less likely to visit.

Read More >>