Hilton hotels introduced Connie, an IBM Watson-enabled robot concierge.
March 9, 2016 is the day the robots take over. Google's AlphaGo won against the best Go player in the world and Hilton replaces concierges in Hotels with an AI powered robot. Hotel chain Hilton Worldwide unveiled a robot concierge named Connie, in honor of Hilton’s founder Conrad Hilton. Connie is the first IBM Watson-enabled robot concierge working in a hotel. His first work place is in the Hilton Hotel in McLean, Virginia.
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Connie's smarts are enabled by IBM's super computer backed Watson platform. Connie is learning to interact with guests and respond to their questions in a friendly and informative manner.
Connie uses a combination of Watson APIs, including Dialog, Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Natural Language Classifier, to enable it to greet guests upon arrival and to answer questions about hotel amenities, services and hours of operation. By tapping into WayBlazer’s extensive travel domain knowledge powered by Watson, Connie can also suggest local attractions outside the hotel.
The more guests interact with Connie, the more it learns, adapts and improves its recommendations. The hotel will also have access to a log of the questions asked and Connie’s answers, which can enable improvements to guests’ experiences before, during and after their stays.
“We’re focused on reimagining the entire travel experience to make it smarter, easier and more enjoyable for guests,” said Jonathan Wilson, vice president, product innovation and brand services, Hilton Worldwide. “By tapping into innovative partners like IBM Watson, we’re wowing our guests in the most unpredictable ways.”
“This project with Hilton and WayBlazer represents an important shift in human-machine interaction, enabled by the embodiment of Watson's cognitive computing," said Rob High, IBM fellow and vice president and chief technology officer of IBM Watson. “Watson helps Connie understand and respond naturally to the needs and interests of Hilton's guests -- which is an experience that's particularly powerful in a hospitality setting, where it can lead to deeper guest engagement."
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Hilton was the first hotel company to introduce televisions into guest rooms back in 1947. In 2016 Hilton brings in the robots.