In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) reshapes industries, the Tourism AI Network stands at the forefront of integrating AI into the tourism sector. Our commitment goes beyond merely employing AI technologies; it extends to setting a standard for their ethical, responsible, and impactful use. Reflecting our core values of Learning, Supporting, Partnership, and Growth, and driven by our mission to drive adoption and understanding of AI in tourism, this document presents our Responsible AI Use Principles and Policies. 

These principles provide a framework to guide our actions and decisions, ensuring they align with our commitment to education, collaboration, innovation, and service within the tourism industry. They serve as the bedrock for our endeavors, ensuring that as we navigate the evolving landscape of AI, we do so with integrity, foresight, and a deep respect for the communities and individuals we serve.

Before diving into the principles and policies below, let us first clearly articulate our stance about AI. At the Tourism AI Network, we call ourselves AI Pragmatists. This means that we fall somewhere between AI accelerationists, who believe in rapidly advancing AI technology to solve human problems and enhance societal progress and AI doomers, who believe AI expansion poses existential threats to humanity and needs to be properly managed and regulated. We are in between these two extremes that see AI as an coming megawave – an unstoppable force – that we need to accept, understand and adapt to quickly and collectively for the best outcomes. 

AI Principles

Responsible AI: We commit to the responsible use of AI technologies. These technologies can be used to enhance tourism experiences, as well as the operations of tourism operators and DMOs, but every step must be taken to ensure this is done responsibly. An important step in being responsible with AI use is being transparent about how and when it is being used. Another step is understanding how data is managed by AI tools and working with reputable and proven AI technology providers. While we want to be at the forefront of AI experimentation and use, we are careful about not being at the ‘bleeding edge’ and not taking unnecessary risks. To this end, risk assessments are an important part of any AI deployment that we consider. 

Human-Centric Approach: Emphasizing a human-centered approach, we leverage AI to empower and augment our work and the work of tourism professionals, enhancing their ability to deliver exceptional experiences and to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Careful consideration is taken with respect to where AI fits and where humans fit. We believe that the human must not only be in the loop, but firmly in control and overseeing AI use actively at every step along the way. 

Human Accountability: Asserting the primacy of human accountability, we ensure that all decisions and actions, even those facilitated by AI, are made with a clear sense of responsibility and ethical consideration. Human accountability begins with transparency about AI use, but continues with AI education, the development of written project charters for any AI related initiatives, as well as clearly written AI use policies and the clear written injection of AI use cases into company standard operating procedures. As businesses, we cannot expect to hold people accountable unless we clearly lay out expectations. As AI leaders in the tourism industry, the Tourism AI Network holds itself to the highest standard in this regard and will be publishing information about our work as we go. 

Role of Human Creativity: We recognize the irreplaceable role of human knowledge, experience, emotion, and imagination, especially in the tourism industry. We believe that in tourism, nothing will ever replace the role of authentic human connection as a transformative force for good. The ability for humans to use their creativity to create better tourism experiences is at the heart of the industry. We believe that AI has the potential to give humans working in tourism more opportunities to experience these types of connections because when machines are handling repetitive, mundane tasks, humans will have more time for each other. AI can also support this creativity, providing tools that augment human capabilities without replacing the unique insights and connections that professionals bring to their work.

Information Integrity: In our commitment to education, we ensure the integrity of language, images, and videos used in AI applications. It is our duty to understand the data protection policies of every AI tool we use and to pass this knowledge to our community and partners. We also have a human checking every output produced by AI for accuracy. We seek only to use AI to support the development of outputs that are factually correct, unbiased and that meet a high ethical standard for integrity. This principle is crucial for preventing misinformation and fostering an informed community of tourism professionals and guests.

Understanding AI Risks: Prioritizing the understanding of AI’s limitations and risks ensures that we navigate its adoption with caution and care. Risks are discussed when project charters are created and in meetings throughout the AI discovery and implementation journey. Where deemed necessary, an AI risk registrar is included with project charters. This aligns with our core value of learning, emphasizing the importance of continuous education and awareness in the face of new technological frontiers.

Transparency and Trust: Highlighting the importance of transparency in AI usage and data collection, and operating at the highest standard with respect to how we use and protect our clients’ data, we maintain trust with our community. We believe that trust is the foundation of every relationship and in an area as new and undefined as AI in 2024, trust is best established and maintained through transparency. We aim not only to be transparent about AI usage, but when developing AI applications and tools for our clients, we believe it’s critical to be honest about potential pitfalls and probabilities of success – so that experimentation and innovation can happen in a way that allows participants to take calculated risks. This principle is foundational to our mission, fostering collaboration and building a network of industry professionals committed to advancing AI in tourism responsibly.

Inclusivity and Diversity: Ensuring our AI usage promotes inclusivity and diversity, we cater to a wide range of audiences and needs, and we seek to understand how AI tools and technology can be used to enhance experiences for every individual. In our vision for an AI driven future, technology can enable every person to achieve the best outcomes, regardless of their background and abilities. We also commit to being vocal and outspoken when the tools are not serving the goals of diversity and inclusion. This commitment reflects our core focus on community, striving to build a welcoming and diverse network of thought leaders and practitioners.

Openness and Collaboration: Encouraging an open approach to sharing AI research, knowledge, ideas, and experiences, we advance the tourism industry and society together. The founders of Tourism AI Network believe that collaboration is the only path available to solving the many challenges that will come with the rapid advancement of AI technology – something we are ultimately optimistic will be achieved. This principle is a testament to our core focus on collaboration, highlighting our commitment to mutual growth and shared knowledge.

These principles are more than guidelines; they are a commitment to advancing the use of AI in tourism in a manner that is ethical, responsible, and aligned with our mission. By adhering to these principles, the Tourism AI Network aims to lead the way in the thoughtful integration of AI into the tourism industry, ensuring that technology serves to enhance, not overshadow, the human experience.

Our AI Use And Policies

Artificial intelligence technologies are changing at a rapid pace and Tourism AI Network strives to be at the forefront and leading the way.  We are constantly working to understand how we can implement the newest AI solutions to our workflows in order to enhance performance and add more value to our community. It is always our goal to test AI solutions and workflows on ourselves and to use our own brand as the testing ground for what is ethical, practical and possible.  

How We Use AI Today – As of March 2024

Our main AI use cases as of today include ideation and content development support, meaning getting content ideas and using AI for content editing. Almost all images seen in Tourism AI Network presentations and training materials are created using AI image generation tools. We have also experimented with AI voice and video generation tools and we use Descript, which allows us to edit videos using AI, to edit and prepare podcasts and video clips. 

We have been deliberate about using various paid versions of large language models as thinking augmentation tools to assist with brainstorming and strategy development, specifically in the creation of the Tourism AI Network, and also in the development of pricing models, business and partnership structures and more. We have also used tools created by our partner, WSI, called Genius Tools, which have helped us to develop several foundational documents including ideal customer personas and brand narratives, as well as to execute some research about opportunities for PR and lead generation. 

We believe that AI’s greatest and most untapped potential is in its use as a strategy assistant and we have used it in this way along our journey. This is because we believe that we need to experiment on ourselves first before making recommendations to our community. We are deeply committed to benign our own AI lab, but to always do so with caution and with humans fully in charge. 

The main tools we use today include ChatGPT-4, Pi, Frase, Leonardo AI, and Descript. We are also actively exploring Google’s Gemini and Anthropic’s Claude 3, mostly for comparison purposes to understand how these large language models perform relative to ChatGPT-4, which is broadly considered the most powerful LLM on the market. We have experimented and will continue to experiment with many more tools, but don’t use these tools consistently at this time. 

The “Genius Tools” mention above are created by WSI head office using a combination of the foundational models listed above – mainly ChatGPT – and a technique called Prompt Chaining, which can be described as process that results in the iterative refinement of LLM output through a series of prompts. WSI has also and continues to create more genius tools, including tools that assist with AI business assessment and AI roadmap development and we will rely heavily on these tools to serve our community. 

As of March 2024, the reports produced by these Genius tools provide a good amount of helpful information, but they also still require considerable human creativity, research and thinking. For this reason, we use these tools as a starting point and then we add to the initial outputs through manual processes and human creativity. Everything we do with our community involves human interaction at the core, use of these AI tools throughout and human oversight and work along the way. 

Some of the tools we use every day also have AI features baked into them. For example, Hubspot has AI features that make that tool easier to use. Zoom has AI tools that allow us to get transcripts and summaries of meetings. Google has begun integrating AI features into Workspace and Agility PR has integrated useful AI features that allow us to look at data in different ways, translate articles into different languages, get AI produced summaries and other related use cases. 

We are expecting to use generative AI tools more and we are actively working on a project called Project Trailblazer, where we are looking at our current processes and having team discussions about where it makes the most sense to inject AI tools into those processes and where it makes sense to keep AI out. It is our plan to formalize our approach and to more formally create specific and detailed AI use policies for our team through Project Trailblazer. While we expect this to be an ever evolving process, we also expect to have our AI use more formally integrated into our corporate policies and procedures by the end of June, 2024.  

When it comes to exploring and integrating AI, we are not working in isolation. Through Project Trailblazer, we are taking a holistic team-based approach to AI adoption and integration within our own company. We are also members of the WSI AI Leadership Committee and we took a leading role in forming the WSI AI Doers Group. 

As we continue down our AI journey, we intend to create case studies, write about our AI use, policies, experiences and learnings on our blog, in our newsletter and on our podcast.  We plan to talk transparently with our stakeholders about AI policies and use on an ongoing basis as a way to improve our uses and these policies and principles.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments about our Responsible AI Principles and Policies or if you would like to connect about AI in your organization, please email Peter Pilarski at peter@ciprcommunications.com

 

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