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Chatbot answers questions about Basel

Chatbot answers questions about Basel

Tourism in Basel

“Of course you might miss the Carnival”: Chatbot answers tourists’ questions about Basel

Visitors to Basel can now get advice from a digital butler. For example, what are the most worth seeing places in the city. However, the robot does not know the local patriotism.

Can be excluded according to Chatbot: Basel Carnival.

Photo: Roland Schmid

For once, Basel and Zurich worked together. The result is two chatbots that answer tourists’ questions about their stay. Tourism Basel wrote in a statement on Thursday that the two destinations will be among the first in Europe to use artificial intelligence in this field.

It’s not a competition, but if it were, the Basel chatbot would have the edge when it came to names. While visitors to the city on the Limmat River talk to the Zurich Guide to Artificial Intelligence, the Basel chancellor is called Theo.

There is no local patriotism among the robots

The AI-powered concierge service can be found on the Basel Tourism website. Four questions are proposed, such as: “What are the nine most important landmarks in Basel?” As an answer, Theo named the minister first.

Local patriotism seems foreign to the bot: whether Zurich or Basel are prettier, it replies in a very diplomatic way: “Both are beautiful cities, each with its own charm.” He is also happy to provide information about possible activities in Zurich. If I asked Theo if you could miss the Basel Carnival, he would say, “Of course, that’s up to you!”

The two “AI servers” are based on ChatGPT technology and use artificial intelligence to analyze questions and formulate answers. They are fed all the information about their cities and regions.

Theo understands Albanian, French or Russian

For its services, the developer company relies on its own language models for the use of generative AI, such as OpenAI and Google. This would enable “comprehension-oriented information processing in virtually all languages ​​for all conceivable situations,” Basel Torimosos wrote in the statement. In fact, Theo understands and writes Italian, French, Albanian and Russian.

There are some places in Basel that “could be considered dangerous”, Theo says. He does not want to mention specific places. However, nighttime vigilance is recommended in remote areas or near train stations and other public transportation. The bot doesn’t seem to read the news: it can’t tell if Dreirosen’s system is under video surveillance.