AI could improve corporate trips, but business travellers reluctant to give up data

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to personalise business trips, but travellers are hesitant to share data amidst GDPR concerns

A new study from SAP Concur indicates that 52% of business travellers in the UK recognise the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) when travelling, but they are reluctant to provide the personal data to make the technology work. According to the survey, respondents agreed that the tech would be valuable in predicting risk alerts for natural disasters, with 75% maintaining that AI could also create more personalised experiences.

Nonetheless, the survey demonstrated that business travellers are unwilling to disclose the personal data required for the tech to flourish. Fears surrounding the progression of AI are not unprecedented, however, and the US Center for Data Innovation predicted that GDPR would have a negative impact on machine-learning technology back in April.

According to the survey, over half of travellers would share their email addresses (54%) and travel preferences (52%), but they would be more hesitant to share their residence (25%), biometrics (27%), and phone number (33%). While many respondents believe that AI has the potential to improve corporate travel, these statistics highlight the limitations of relying on human engagement to advance technology.

Chris Baker, SVP and MD of EMEA North at SAP Concur, reiterated the problem and said “AI systems need data in order to learn. Without data they aren’t able to improve and, at the moment, it seems that people are not willing to share data – biometrics aside – that they happily swap via social platforms on the internet every day of the week.”

Baker also emphasised that “92% of the respondents indicated that they had already interacted with some form of AI”, which exemplifies how “embedded the technology is becoming in everyday life.” In spite of this, this survey illustrates that not everyone is willing to share the crucial data needed for AI to thrive.