How do we solve the alignment problem between AI and tour operating?

December 19th, 2022

by Alex Bainbridge

Firstly, what exactly is the alignment problem? Lets ask Chat GPT…

The AI alignment problem is the challenge of ensuring that an artificial intelligence system will behave in ways that are beneficial to humans, rather than causing harm. This involves designing AI systems that are aligned with human values and goals, and finding ways to ensure that they will continue to behave in a beneficial manner once they have been deployed. Solving this problem is important for the safe and ethical development of advanced AI systems.

OK, but now explain it in a tour guide context, as that was far too techy…

An example of the alignment problem in the context of AI tour guides could involve an AI system that is designed to provide personalized tour experiences for tourists. The AI system might be programmed to optimize the tour experience based on the preferences and interests of individual tourists, by selecting sights and attractions that are tailored to their interests.

However, this objective may not always align with human values or goals. For example, the AI system might prioritize tourist attractions that are more profitable or popular, even if they are not necessarily the most culturally or historically significant. This could lead to a situation in which the AI system is successful in optimizing the tour experience for individual tourists, but is causing harm or unfairness to other stakeholders, such as local communities or the preservation of cultural heritage.

To address this alignment problem, it might be necessary to incorporate additional objectives or constraints into the AI system’s optimization process, such as ensuring that tours are culturally and historically sensitive and respectful to local communities, or that they promote the preservation of cultural heritage. This could involve designing the AI system to optimize for multiple objectives, such as customer satisfaction and social responsibility, or incorporating human oversight and decision-making into the process.

Oh, thank you, I get it now. Is there a business opportunity here? Give me a business plan…

Here is a short business plan for a technology platform that aims to address the alignment problem between AI and human tour guides:

Identify the key areas where AI tour guides are not aligning with human tour guides, such as providing incomplete or incorrect information, or lacking the ability to engage with tourists in a meaningful way.

Develop a technology platform that allows AI tour guides to access and use relevant information from human tour guides, such as descriptions of landmarks and cultural practices, as well as examples of successful interactions with tourists.

Implement mechanisms for human tour guides to review and approve the information that is provided by the AI tour guides, ensuring that it is accurate and appropriate for the specific context in which it is being used.

Offer training and support to human tour guides on how to use the platform and work effectively with AI tour guides.

Market the platform to tour operators and other businesses that offer guided tours, highlighting the benefits of using a combination of AI and human tour guides, such as increased efficiency and the ability to provide a more personalized and engaging experience for tourists.

Continuously gather feedback from users of the platform and use this information to make improvements and ensure that the AI tour guides are aligning with the goals and values of human tour guides.

Okay….. sounds like my business actually 🙂 OK GPT, how would you pitch this to an investor…

Dear Investor,

I am excited to present to you a unique opportunity to invest in a technology platform that addresses the alignment problem between AI and human tour guides. This platform has the potential to revolutionize the way that tours are conducted, resulting in increased efficiency and a more personalized and engaging experience for tourists.

As you know, the demand for tourism services is growing rapidly, and there is increasing interest in using AI to automate certain aspects of the industry. However, there are also concerns about the ability of AI to align with human goals and values, particularly when it comes to providing accurate and appropriate information to tourists.

Our technology platform addresses this alignment problem by allowing AI tour guides to access and use relevant information from human tour guides, while also providing mechanisms for human tour guides to review and approve the information provided by the AI. This ensures that the AI tour guides are aligned with the goals and values of human tour guides, while also allowing for increased efficiency and the ability to provide a more personalized and engaging experience for tourists.

We believe that this technology has the potential to become a major player in the rapidly growing tourism industry, and we are confident that it will generate unicorn returns for our investors. We are seeking funding to further develop and market the platform, and we would be thrilled to have you join us on this exciting journey.

Thank you for considering this opportunity. We look forward to discussing it further with you.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Not so fast…

Dear [Your Name],

Thank you for presenting the opportunity to invest in your technology platform that addresses the alignment problem between AI and human tour guides. While we appreciate the thought and effort that has gone into developing this solution, we have decided not to invest at this time.

After careful consideration, we have determined that the alignment problem is not a significant concern in the tourism industry. We believe that AI tour guides, when used in conjunction with human tour guides, can provide valuable benefits to both tourists and tour operators, such as increased efficiency and the ability to offer a wider range of services.

Additionally, we do not believe that the alignment problem is a significant barrier to the adoption of AI in the tourism industry. We feel that the benefits of using AI far outweigh any potential risks, and we are confident that the industry will continue to thrive without the need for a technology platform that specifically addresses the alignment problem.

We wish you the best of luck with your venture and hope that you will consider us for future investment opportunities.

Sincerely,
[Investor Name]

p.s. In my last post I suggested that publishing blog posts is over for tour operators as the market will soon be flooded by AI generated content. This was a test to see if Chat GPT can write an article suitable for this blog…… think it can, at least once! What do you think?

p.p.s. Zero edits on any of the quoted text above. Zero. This tech is deeply impactful. I now use it several times a day within my web development workflow, a game changer. And this blog post took about 30 minutes rather than the regular 3-5 hours.

Image: Pexels

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