Trivago Bought AI Startup to Pacify Fears about Customer Data Privacy

Trivago Bought AI Startup to Pacify Fears about Customer Data Privacy
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The hotel search engine Trivago has just acquired the German machine-learning startup Tripl in an attempt to join the likes of Amazon and Netflix in offering its customers an artificial intelligence (AI) driven personalization service. Tripl’s strengths lie in its ability to use using machine-learning techniques in which to analyze its users social media profiles to make personalized recommendations. This includes which itineraries they’re most suited to and provide links to offers from third parties such as cruise lines or hotels.

However, the problem with personalization services is that they have to use people’s personal information, and this is something consumers are quite wary of. Hendrik Kleinwatcher, founder of Tripl, says the solution there is to be transparent with your customers. “Basically, if you tell the user really what you are doing with their data then people are more open-minded, but you should definitely tell the user what’s going on,” he said.

When AI startup Tripl first launched in 2015 it would only allow users to sign up via Facebook. But, this frustrated some potential customers so a few months later it added the option for signing up via email too. The company also added a short questionnaire for customers to compete on sign up in regards to vacation goals. Upon adding this option of signing up via email, the number of people navigating away from the site without joining went down. However, in addition to that, the number of Facebook sign ups also rose by 23%!

The works is Tripl will collect data from its users that will be used to create personalized recommendations. In the event that the company is sold, the data may be sold with it. And if requested by law enforcement officials, data must be shared with them also, provided they bear proper warrants. Users also have the option to delete Facebook cookies to their activity on Tripl is not monitored via the social media site.

Trivago is hopeful the new acquisition will help the company step into the world of artificial intelligence while boosting its share price which dipped last month. But, in order to make a true success of the AI startup, there’s a few competitors it will need to watch out for including TripAdvisor, Google, and Priceline. As long as it can continue to convince customers that it knows travelers better than anyone Trivago should have no problem in keeping up with its competition.

Source Fast Company

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