Ever landed in a new city after a long flight and had to wait in a large queue to check into your hotel room? IBM and Hilton Hotels may have the answer - a concierge robot.
The pair have teamed up to build ‘Connie’ a machine powered by IBM’s AI system Watson which can engage with guests and answer their questions.
According to the firms, Connie is the first of its kind and will use a combination of Watson APIs as well as a corpus of knowledge from cognitive travel platform WayBlazer to undertake tasks including advising on hotel offerings and letting tourists know about local attractions, dining and entertainment options outwith the hotel.
Connie is named after Hilton founder Conrad Hilton, and is currently in pilot teasting mode and is currently stationed at the reception area in the Hilton McLean hotel in Virginia. The robot will work side-by-side with staff to help personalise the guest experience.
It’s cognitive learning abilities mean that the more guests interact with Connie, the more it will adapt and improve its recommendations.
“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
Rob High, IBM fellow and vice-president and chief technology officer of IBM Watson, said the move represented a “shift in human-machine interaction, enabled by the embodiment of Watson's cognitive computing.”
"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,” he added.
Just yesterday (8 March) IBM Watson announced a partnership with KPMG to help the global financial firm strengthen its professional service offerings.