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Robot Concierge Makes Waves at Hilton Hotel Chain in Virginia

Robot Concierge

Digested from “Meet Connie, Hilton Robot Concierge”
The Balance Sheet (3/16/16) Gagiuc, Anca

IBM labs and Hilton Worldwide recently gave birth to “Connie,” the first robot concierge adapted for the hospitality industry. Named after hotel founder Conrad Hilton, the new bot has made her place of employment at the Hilton McLean hotel in Virginia.

Just 23 inches tall, Connie relies on several technologies to do her job at the hotel, where she answers questions about the facility’s amenities, local restaurants and tourist attractions in the greater Washington area.

IBM’s artificial intelligence program Watson, a program that enables bots to interpret and answer human questions, and the French platform Nao, which is designed for customer care and educational activities, provide Connie with the technological support to interact with guests.

Connie can’t do everything human concierges can—such as checking guests into the hotel—but she can give these employees more time to do the other critical parts of their job.

“There are routine tasks that we undertake that you can move over to a machine,” Jonas Nwuke, IBM’s Watson ecosystem manager, told The Balance Sheet. “But what that means in most cases is that it frees up the human being to work on higher order problems.”

Other hotels have used robots to assist guests, but Connie is special in that she personally communicates with them, instead of delivering amenities. Hilton expects other Connie prototypes to surface in its hotel chain in the near future.

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