Woman’s AI-generated travel itinerary goes viral

‘The way my mouth just dropped watching this video’, commented one viewer

Joanna Whitehead
Friday 24 March 2023 12:45 GMT
A screengrab from the woman’s TikTok sharing her AI experience
A screengrab from the woman’s TikTok sharing her AI experience (https://www.tiktok.com/@what.mel)

A Singaporean woman has gone viral on TikTok after asking artificial intelligence (AI) to create a 12-day itinerary for her solo trip to Hanoi, Vietnam.

The woman known as Mel, 28, entered her arrival and departure dates, along with a few sites she was interested in visiting, such as Sa Pa and Ha Long Bay, and the AI swiftly produced a full 12-day schedule.

As “ChatGPT was down”, Mel used Notion AI, which selected popular attractions in the region including exploring the Old Quarter, visiting Hoan Liem Lake, as well as recommending restaurants and factoring travel and check-in time.

While the speed with which the AI produced the list left some social media users wide-eyed, other more hawk-eyed users identified some errors.

On day 11, for example, Notion AI suggests that Mel visit Ba Na Hills, which is situated nearly 800km down the coast from Hanoi.

Despite this, Mel was impressed with the final result.

“I was honestly surprised that [the tool] planned out a day-by-day schedule,” she told AsiaOne.

Other social media users shared her surprise.

“This can’t be real, was it legit the trip itinerary?” wrote one, while another said: “The way my mouth just dropped watching this video”.

A third replied: “This is actually one of the easier things for AI to create because there’s already so many holiday plans online for it to pull from”.

Some users commented that they had also used AI services to formulate their own travel itineraries – with mixed results.

“My bf [boyfriend] and I used it to plan an Oregon trip down the coast and AI gave us such a good itinerary,” one user wrote. “We used it and it was amazing.”

“I did this but a lot of the info was wrong on timings,” wrote another. “Make sure to check yourself.”

While much has been made of the capabilities of AI technology, it’s worth approaching it with caution, as The Independent found out during a task dedicated to testing its accuracy.

We asked ChatGPT for travel advice in York and London and both times it came back with inaccurate information on restaurants and nightclubs that are now closed.

Highlighting the value of a human touch, one user noted the number of personal recommendations that users were sharing in the comments, writing: “The real itinerary is in the comments. TikTok doing its magic once again.”

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