Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly relevant role, influencing all sectors, including tourism. Today, we want to share our latest experiment based on GPT and Google Maps: the creation of an instant audio guide for any place in the world.

At Lostium, we are travel enthusiasts, and whenever we visit a new country, we equip ourselves with the corresponding Lonely Planet guidebook and research on travel forums and specialized magazines to prepare for the trip. However, on a recent trip to Sicily, with limited time to investigate and gather information about the places to visit, we had to improvise and change our strategy. During that trip, ChatGPT became an additional source of resources, providing real-time data and highlights about the places we visited.

Upon returning from the trip, we wondered if we could improve and facilitate the way we access tourist information, avoiding the constant need to write questions and then read the answers.

The experiment

And since we can't stop innovating, we conducted a quick experiment in hackathon mode. We created a simple application that incorporates a Google Maps map. By simply taping on a tourist point of interest on the map, we make a query to GPT-3 using the OpenAI API and transform the generated response into audio through a synthetic voice. This allows us to 'simulate' the experience of having a personal tour guide.

The results have been astonishing. AI is capable of generating relevant tourist information about various points of interest without the need to rely on other sources.

You hallucinate, GPT!

However, not everything has been perfect. In historically rich places with abundant information, the result is exceptional. But in those places with less available data, the "creativity" of artificial intelligence becomes evident, as it sometimes generates improvised responses, resembling a student who invents answers for an exam they haven't studied for.

These "hallucinations" occur in less relevant places, recently created places, or places with limited data. Knowing this limitation, we managed to build a free audio guide in just one weekend that will accompany us on future trips and provide relevant information about any point of interest worldwide.

This experiment is just an example of how Artificial Intelligence can be used to innovate and enhance the tourist experience. By obtaining historical and cultural information and presenting it in a contextual, non-intrusive audio format that is easy to consume during the visit.

How we did it

With this small development, we have become familiar with the use of generative Artificial Intelligence and it will allow us to integrate it into other projects.

On the technical side, we have solved the prototype using:

  • WordPress as the backend, used as a framework in all our developments.
  • Our WordPress plugin that converts text to speech (which we will soon release for anyone with a WordPress-based website who wants to convert it to speech!).
  • Angular + Google Maps for the application.
  • Various APIs: OpenAI GPT-3, Google Maps, Google Cloud TTS, and geolocation through the device.

If you want to start experimenting with AI in your company or if you feel like setting up a small pilot to validate an idea, get in touch with us, and let's see how we can help you.