We’re not going to try and re-write the narrative – to be honest, we’ve heard it all before… ‘Robots vs Humans: a threat to humanity or the workforce of the future?’ There are enough opinions around the subject and, for the most part, we think its an area that is still largely misunderstood with years of research ahead.
If you were to ask the average person what artificial intelligence is, more often than not you will receive a descriptive of an anthropomorphic machine: a Will-Smith-destroying-iRobot contraption. This representation (and so many others) has caused an almost robophobia amongst our society and plays heavily on our fear that they will indeed become a ‘threat to humanity’.
15 years on from iRobot being released we’ve rather unwittingly embraced this level of robotism into our lives. The likes of Alexa and Siri are commonplace in many households, we use self-service at the checkout in the supermarket and to check-in at the hotel – all examples of computers designed to make human life easier. And in essence, this is the sole purpose of AI – to enhance our lives and help us forecast and make more intelligent predictions. AI should empower us to do our jobs better.
Human intellect vs machine intellect:
Today’s hotel guests are expecting smarter and more tailored services to feel any emotional connection and loyalty to a venue. This is where artificial intelligence comes in. It is revolutionising how we use technology in every aspect of our lives, including the hotel industry.
Machine Learning can process much higher volumes of data and make complicated calculations at a much faster rate than humans. However, unlike computers, humans are able to analyse a situation, taking into account any influencing factors before responding accordingly. So whilst we may not be able to quickly analyse large quantities of data and make immediate predictions, we are able to add real-life context to our actions.
In this sense, Actual Intelligence can be considered as the ability to understand your guests’ interests, likes and dislikes to mutually optimise their personal experience with your brand. Artificial intelligence can be seen as the technological tools and processes that are available to help you do just that. Artificial intelligence leverages the large amounts of data that each guest leaves behind as they interact with your property (both online and in person). Over time this Machine Learning finds patterns in guest behaviour which enables you to curate tailored, personalised guest experiences. It also delivers contextually relevant messaging in real time while continuously learning from large volumes of data.
The question then, is how can you take this intelligence and turn it into something that’s valuable to your brand? How can this technology help to provide your guests (and potential guests) with a better service and online booking experience? This is where artificial intelligence comes into its own by allowing you to understand guest browsing habits, it predicts what type of packages to present to a returning website visitor and even remembers a guest’s room thermostat preferences the next time they check-in.
Avvio’s Technical Director Martin Grogan says: “As artificial intelligence evolves, more of these disparate systems will become interconnected allowing you to truly understand your customers and optimise and personalise their experiences. Every digital touchpoint the guest has with your brand is valuable information. Each step of the guest booking contains many data points. These pieces fit into one constantly changing puzzle that can be hard to make sense of.”
Allora – Avvio’s AI-powered booking engine – analyses that data to understand individual booker behaviour and patterns through powerful Machine Learning. In addition, Allora learns from the anonymised data from across hundreds of Avvio’s hotel customers. This enables each hotel to build on insights from across our network, and drive personalised, more effective journeys with their data. (Include YT video – show learning models in action)
Hoteliers and accommodation providers need to think about what their guests may need at any one point in their digital journey. Revolutionary technology, like artificial intelligence, reduces unnecessary admin, allowing hoteliers to focus on driving business.
Suffice to say the technology shouldn’t replace the elements of humanity that separate us from our mechanical counterparts. The hospitality industry has a wonderful ability to capture human emotion and provide memorable experiences, and AI should empower us to do all these things while creating more personalised online experiences.