Travel Convention 2016: Firms warned of dangers of over-automation

Travel Convention 2016: Firms warned of dangers of over-automation

Travel firms will be increasingly evaluated based on a ‘Return on Attention’ assessment based on how efficient they can provide customers with the information they are looking for.

Dr Tom Chatfield, a British writer and ‘technology philosopher’, told this week’s Abta Travel Convention in Abu Dhabi that firms should beware over automation.

He said companies should use technology to ensure they give people return for the amount of attention they devote to their brand but ensure that there is a human element.

“It’s very important to think about the amount you are giving people in return for their attention. Give back value as quickly as possible.

“What’s the minimum information required to deliver maximum value? People are irritated by things that waste their time.”

Chatfield described social media as an extension of the profoundly social nature of human beings.

“In an era of astonishing information sharing what do we do? Mostly we talk to each other about each other.

“Social media is a like a social recommendation engine and filtering engine. Other people are probably my best and most valuable filters.”

Chatfield said technology should tap into this rather than push people aside.

“We will never be living in a world where we want machines and automation to do everything. There are going to be things that we need and demand but that we do in person.

“What the expert is doing is acting as a translator saying I can help you translate your desires, your interests into a language more easily understood.

“More and more digitisation is going to catch the low-hanging fruits. There is a danger of turning yourself into a repeater of computational recommendations.

“For me technology is not an end in itself. Afterall we are the point and what’s going on inside our heads is the point. It’s a path towards the best of the real.

“Those very important moments in which we better define who we are, what we like and what we are doing. Those are the most important moment and we need them today more than ever.”

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