Amex GBT driving AI innovation with new initiative

American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) has unveiled details of a new artificial intelligence (AI) initiative that it says will increase focus on existing AI projects, drive purposeful innovation and greater efficiencies for clients and the corporate travel management ecosystem.

Amex GBT’s AI initiative will immediately focus on adopting next generation AI technologies and enhanced governance across four key areas:

  • Traveller care
  • Finance
  • Engineering
  • And enabling a modern workplace

The team will be conducting several assessments and partnering with legal, privacy, compliance, procurement, and cybersecurity to determine the right technology solutions and advise on the new risks introduced by AI.

Driving AI integration

Michael Esquibel, senior vice-president of technology strategy and engineering, has been tasked with driving efficiency, productivity and progress through AI. He has assembled a team that includes Marilyn Markham as the new vice-president of engineering and AI strategy.

Esquibel and Markham are crucial in driving AI integration across the company, aiming to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of services offered to clients.

The team also includes Erica Trevino as vice-president, operations system strategy and optimization, and Jake Hautly as vice-president, finance systems strategy and optimization. Trevino and Hautley will have pivotal roles focusing on operations system strategy and finance systems optimization, respectively, highlighting the initiative’s comprehensive approach to AI adoption.

Neil Kirk, vice-president of technology services, will be specially engaged in initiatives for staff productivity in view of updating enterprise tools with AI components.

“Artificial intelligence will supercharge our colleagues and bridge a path to automation previously limited by the language-data barrier,” said Markham. “Scaling AI for Amex GBT will unlock efficiencies and inspire product innovation to elevate user experiences for our colleagues, our clients, and their travellers.”

Implementing AI

Amex GBT actively uses proprietary AI across its portfolio of services including proactive disruption management and personalized recommendations. In 2020, Amex GBT acquired AI start-up, 30SecondsToFly, which has been instrumental in developing the natural language processing in Amex GBT’s chat and email channels.

Amex GBT also acquired Egencia from Expedia Group in 2021, which brought additional AI and data science expertise, complementary technology, and enterprise capabilities.

“Delivering best in class service supported and simplified by technology has always driven our innovation agenda, but you cannot apply AI casually in the B2B environment,” said David Thompson, chief innovation and technology officer for Amex GBT. “We are building a secure environment, applying robust testing, and partnering with the leaders of the AI revolution, so our employees and customers can feel confident that we are progressing responsibly.”

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In the photo

Amex GBT AI Task Force Jake Hautly, Erica Trevino, and Marilyn Markham.