The return of the (#robot) travel agent


Illustration of a computer on vacation.
Illustration by Erik Carter

I was recently sitting in a hot tub with a friend — a glaciologist who studies how quickly the southern ice is sliding into the sea — when she mentioned that she had recently planned her honeymoon using ChatGPT. Our fellow bathers burst into laughter. “You’d done it, too?” This, apparently, is the present state of get-togethers among friends in their early 30s: six people and three AI-assisted honeymoons between them.

My friend is a pro at arranging helicopters and snow cat brigades to remote wedges of ice. But she was overloaded with decisions about charger plates and floral arrangements, and had put the task of arranging a 12-day trip to Tasmania on her husband-to-be. A statistician, he was using ChatGPT to answer questions at work,…

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