Family travels the world for 12 months using AI for every decision
PARIS — Travel influencer Michael Motamedi has been traveling the world with his wife and 2-year-old daughter using the free AI travel assistant GuideGeek to make every decision since June. The trip, initially planned for six months, is off to such a strong start that it has been extended to 12 months.
The family’s adventures are documented in an original web series titled No Fixed Address that airs weekly on Motamedi’s TikTok as well as Matador’s Instagram and the GuideGeek Instagram, and there has been no shortage of adventure. For instance, GuideGeek sent Motamedi deep into a Marrakech neighborhood for a haircut at a barber’s home.
“That was the craziest thing,” says Motamedi. “I never would have known about that barber without GuideGeek. I couldn’t even find him on Google, and I was a little nervous walking into his house, but it was a great haircut — and an even better story.”
Travelers message GuideGeek on Instagram or WhatsApp to get personalized, instant recommendations in response to any travel query. The AI is built on OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology and includes many travel-specific integrations, including live flight data from 1,000 OTAs and airline websites, as well as the best vacation rentals in major cities around the world.
Motamedi and his wife Vanessa Salas, a former producer at Discovery Channel, use GuideGeek to select which countries to visit, where to eat, and everything in between. After starting in Morocco, the family visited Barcelona, where Motamedi used GuideGeek to experience the city through the eyes of Anthony Bourdain, Picasso and Dalí.
“We are not just using GuideGeek as a ‘best of’ resource, but discovering unique things about a city in real time,” says Motamedi. “I could be at a restaurant and want to know the history of it. No longer do I pull out Google and sift through articles while I am dining with my wife. Instead, I ask my friend GuideGeek about it on WhatsApp while I’m pouring myself a glass of wine.”
Currently the family is in Paris, where Motamedi asked GuideGeek to direct him to authentic French cocktails. In one case it was flat out wrong, recommending a British cocktail, but Motamedi had a great experience nonetheless. Matador Network, which created and operates GuideGeek, has decreased the percentage of conversations containing errors from 12% to less than 5%, and is targeting 2% in the next month.
“AI isn’t perfect, but it dramatically reduces the time we spend planning and trying to find information about a destination,” says Motamedi. “GuideGeek has proven to be a much faster path to authentic interactions with the local people and culture than any other travel resource I’ve experienced. It’s a little ironic when you think about it, but it’s true.”
Motamedi recently announced on the Get Lost Podcast that the experiment would be extended to a full year. Media outlets such as Business Insider and KTLA, in Motamedi’s hometown of Los Angeles, have highlighted the family’s journey. Since the family set out, GuideGeek has seen daily active user growth of more than 650% month over month and amassed 1.3 million followers on Instagram.
“The technology has already advanced so much since Michael and his family started their trip in June, and the intense use he and other creators are putting it through have been a big part of that,” says Matador Network CEO Ross Borden. “Michael is a sort of guinea pig helping us perfect this technology and pioneering new uses for it that will be commonplace for all travelers in 1-2 years.”