Dublin’s new official tour guide? AI chatbot to help show visitors around capital

‘Smart tourism’ initiative aims to demonstrate how AI can help with more personalised travel recommendations

The machines that make artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT sing might be super intelligent but they are not super original when asked what makes Ireland’s capital city worth a visit.

Temple Bar, Trinity College Dublin and trad music are its three top tips for tourists, followed by the Guinness Storehouse and the Phoenix Park, with the National Leprechaun Museum also earning itself a mention.

The itinerary – produced by the chatbot on Wednesday when The Irish Times asked for travel advice – is not entirely imaginative or necessarily appealing to locals. But it is a programme that will resonate with the millions of people who visit the city from overseas each year searching for the craic and stout costing the guts of a tenner for a pint.

The prospect of AI tour guides leading gaggles of visitors across the city took a step closer on Wednesday after a deal was struck between Dublin City Council and AI company OpenAI.


It is part of a “smart tourism” initiative that aims to demonstrate how AI can help with more personalised travel recommendations and make the marketing of a place such as Dublin better – and, one can only imagine, cheaper.

The partnership will include the co-development of a proof-of-concept itinerary planner for Dublin that will show off the city’s cultural and heritage experiences and will also involve Dublin-based data consultancy Data & Design.

The project will show how AI could create bespoke trips and itineraries, instead of generic to-do lists in cities.

“Our AI technologies, including GPT-4, have great potential to enhance how people explore and experience destinations,” said OpenAI’s vice-president of global affairs, Anna Makanju. “We look forward to working together to create innovative solutions that will benefit visitors and cities alike.”

The move comes following Dublin’s designation as European Union Capital of Smart Tourism for 2024. The title is granted to a city which “demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to shaping the future of sustainable and innovative tourism”.

Dublin was chosen from a pool of 30 candidates from 17 countries, with Dublin shortlisted alongside Cork, Bremerhaven in Germany, the Italian city of Genoa, Helsingborg in Sweden and Spain’s San Sebastián.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste said: “We are delighted to partner with OpenAI to support Dublin and European cities to realise the potential of AI to transform tourism experiences and offerings.” As part of the EU Capital of Smart Tourism designation, the council was also planning “a unique AI and tourism mentoring workshop” for “city destination leaders” in Dublin in September.

Expect queues then at the leprechaun museum.

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Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast