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Artificial Intelligence: A ‘boon’ for connecting consumers and brands

By Anil Kumar Prasanna, CEO, AxisRooms

Thursday, December 20, 2018, 14:41 Hrs  [IST]

Today’s digital devices have more computing power than Apollo 11, the only spacecraft landed in the moon. Since then technology has taken a big leap mainly in the sector of Artificial Intelligence(AI). AI is all around us, it helps us make the decision without coming out of shadows. AI has already made significant changes in how companies operate and disrupting whole industry. Among all the industries, travel & tourism industry is slowly adapting these changes.

Hoteliers always welcome new technological changes to better serve their customers and never misses the opportunity to collect data. Hoteliers like Marriott and Wynn Las Vegas are taking first steps to install virtual assistants on their properties.

I believe that three technologies are going to influence the industry in the future.

Virtual Assistants in Rooms:
As the technology related to Artificial Intelligence is evolving every moment. The technology becomes more sophisticated. Hoteliers find new ways to treat and engage with their customers through in-room voice-enabled virtual assistance devices.

Amazon developed a special version of its voice assistance, Alexa which can help customer connect with the hotel better than before. The customer can use in-room Alexa for services such as maintenance, entertainment, calling, room services, weather update, request items, cleaning, etc.

Hotels are famous for rolling out the technology in an effort to cater to their guests’ needs. Marriott hotels already partnered with Amazon to install the technology in their rooms.

Moreover, Alexa will also allow the hoteliers to determine guest engagement with the help of analytics and reporting, allowing hotels to adapt their services as per customer needs.

Internet of Things (IoT):
IoT is supposed to be next big change in the modern industrialised world. Due to higher adoption of the technology connected to the internet, we can use technology such as Fitbit to track our health. With the development of AI and 5G technology, we are closer towards the world with IoT than ever before. By establishing artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry, hotels can create more significant opportunities to deliver excellent guest-friendly services ranging from matching guest preferences, suggesting books or music, nearby sports club to complement customers’ taste, all the way to automatically alerting hotel staff for personalized meal choices, special privileges and complimentary services, etc.

Through interconnected devices, sensors and machine learning, hotel operations system can interact perfectly with the physical world, empowering guests with a highly personalized customer experience. Hotel rooms can leverage the existing network of technologies in combination with virtual assistants to further enhance the experience to the next level.

Google’s ‘AI first’:
Google expects AI to infiltrate our lives in coming years as well as suggest some important significance for the travel industry. Google is already making a world where AI implication is more than just in desktop, laptop or mobile but also into homes, cars and workplaces.

Google also has very high influence in the travel industry with growing portfolio which includes Google Flights, Google Hotel Ads, Book on Google and Google Trips. Google can be seen as a future fully operational online travel agency. Even though AI is invisible and most of the times we don’t realise when AI working beneath the surface but almost all our interaction with Google is powered with AI.

Google Flights integration with AI helps you with planning and decision-making and if you plan a journey with Google Maps, it can alert you to a traffic jam that might cause heavy delays and suggest real-time flight options for a speedier way to reach your destination.

Google integrating AI with travel search improve customer experience many times such as if you put search query ‘Flight to Paris’ followed by ‘Best hotels’ there, Google will automatically show you hotels in Paris.

The views expressed within this column are the opinion of the author, and may not necessarily be endorsed by the publication.

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