Say Hello to the World's First Watson-Enabled Hotel Concierge-Connie

By CIOReview | Thursday, March 10, 2016

MCLEAN, VA: Hospitality industry is taking major initiatives to pilot technology that can help address the needs of travelers at each step and provide them with necessary guidance during their journey. On the same lines, Hilton Worldwide and IBM announced their collaboration on the first Watson-enabled robot concierge in the hospitality industry. “Connie”, named after Hilton’s founder Conrad Hilton utilizes domain knowledge from Watson and WayBlazer- world’s first cognitive travel recommendation engine to assist guests with information on local tourist attractions, dining recommendations, and hotel features and amenities. . Connie cooperates with Hiltons’s team members to assist with visitor requests, personalize guest experience, and empower travelers with more information.

“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.”

Connie is currently placed near reception at the Hilton McLean and using cognitive computing and machine learning it will now answer questions posed in natural language about the hotel, local tourist attractions and restaurants in an informative manner. The technology behind Connie is a mix of Watson APIs, including Dialog, Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Natural Language Classifier, that enables it to greet guests upon arrival and to answer questions. WayBlazer’s profound travel domain knowledge helps Connie in suggesting local attractions outside the hotel.

Felix Laboy, CEO, WayBlazer remarked, “We believe providing personalized and relevant insights and recommendations, specifically through a new form factor such as a robot, can transform brand engagement and loyalty at the Hilton.”

Leveraging cognitive technology for hospitality, Connie is able to expand the brand journey and create more time for the staff to better serve each guest. Interactions with guests add more information to the database of Connie, creating a continuum of learning and knowledge, so that it can adapt and improve its recommendations, during and after their stays.

Rob High, CTO, IBM Watson said, “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.”