The prospect of AI ruling over humanity isn't a new one. However, with today's artificial intelligence technology becoming more and more... intelligent and widespread; could it be time to start worrying?
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI gives a machine the ability to imitate intelligent human behavior. The concept of AI is based on the idea of building a machine capable of thinking, acting, and learning like humans.
With enough input (like historical data and user data), advanced hardware, and software systems combined, AI is a force to be reckoned with. From virtual home assistants (Apple's HomePod, Google Home and Amazon's Echo) that can adjust the lights on command, to healthcare systems that can potentially give a more accurate diagnoses than a human counterpart, AI can be utilized in many different industries and is continually growing throughout the years.
How does the hospitality industry benefit from AI?
Reduction of cost and maximization of profit are primary objectives for a business, and AI can help to achieve this. By streamlining or even completely automating some of the services offered by a business, companies have the ability to create efficiency and also provide improved customer experience and satisfaction.
Customer service has become a universal challenge throughout the hospitality industry, and if used to its optimum potential, AI can present an opportunity for transformation of the essential duty.
AI has the ability to personalize the experience of the customer based preferences and past interactions with the business. It can also create a faster response to customers' inquiries through automation and voice-activated services.
How have hotels utilized AI so far?
As AI technology continues to progress, hotels have begun to take advantage of the ability to cut costs and improve customer experience through the use of voice-controlled room features, text-message controlled chatbots, voice-controlled chatbots, and AI powered robotic staff. All of these advances in technology have provided convenience and can be an asset to the human staff of the hotel.
Voice-controlled room features
In 2016, the Wynn Las Vegas hotel announced that it would add Amazon Echos to its 4,748 rooms. While covering CES 2018, the folks at GeekWire were able to test the implementation in one of the hotel's sister resorts.
Originally developed for home use, it wasn't long before Amazon's smart speakers made their way to hotel rooms to help guests effortlessly experience comfort and relaxation. Guests are able to turn on the TV through a voice command and even adjust the lights and curtains. Soon, these hotels hope to unveil more features to the Alexa service such as room service orders, calls to housekeeping, and more. Amazon has been developing the tech for this device ever since, and the Echo brand is continuing to grow and develop more skills.
Integrating the hotel's backend systems, Edwardian Hotels virtual host, Edward, was able to take customer satisfaction to the next level by using text messaging to guide guests to local establishments, take orders, and handle complaints. The efficiency of this system is sure to continue growing the hospitality industry, and most likely other industries as the technology industry booms.
With the help of the tech company Edge DNA, Clarion Hotel Amaranten augmented the Amazon Echo with hotel-specific functions by creating a chatbot servant for guests. The result allowed hotel guests to book taxis, set wake-up calls, get instant updates on hotel accommodations, and perform other hotel-related tasks through the use of their voices.
AI-powered robotic staff
In mid 2015, a hotel in Japan became the first to utilize a mainly robotic staff. The Henn na Hotel near Nagasaki, Japan introduced state-of-the-art technologies by combining excitement with comfort. At the front desk, guests are greeted by multi-lingual robots that help with check-in and check-out. At the cloakroom, the robotic arm will store luggage for an additional fee while guests explore the area and await check-in. The mechanics of these robots reflect humanistic features and allow guests to create unique memories that can last a lifetime. Once registration is complete and guests have registered for the facial recognition system, they are freed from the hassle of carrying a room key around and no longer have to worry about losing it. The robotic staff system has the ability to lower labor costs as well as streamline the check-in process, creating a fun and efficient experience for hotel guests.
AI is rapidly evolving and expanding to all industries, and thanks to the pioneers and innovators in the hospitality industry, AI is slowly making its way into homes, stores, hotels, and restaurants. Not only does AI lower the cost of labor for a business, but it also creates a unique experience for consumers and it is only advancing and becoming more relevant for everyone. We can't wait to see what's still in store!