Meet Connie, The Next Level In Hospitality


Next time you visit a Hilton Hotel, you better be ready for a different kind of welcoming. The company teamed up with IBM, to launch the next type of hotel concierge. The AI concierge. Connie, named after the hotel chain’s founder, Conrad Hilton, is a Nao robot “smarten up” by the IBM’s AI platform, Watson.
The result is a brilliant front-desk robot who can answer most of your questions, fast, without getting tired or annoyed. Questions that in ordinary circumstances would take up valuable front-desk time and cause delays.

Connie Concierge Robot: The Future In Hospitality Services?

Connie can greet the guests as soon as they arrive, show the around and answer their questions about the hotel amenities and the hotel services. Connie is created to get better with each human interaction. For future references and algorithm improvement, Connie can save the questions asked by the hotel guests ask.

Beyond answering inquiries about the hotel, the concierge robot can also recommend restaurants and tourist destinations, thanks to its access to the WayBlazer’s travel platform.

Both companies are calling Connie’s start a “pilot” project. However, it seems that you are going to see more Connie-Nao robots in Hilton hotels if the trial works out well.

“We are all fascinated by the AI, robotics and how we can apply these emerging technologies in a hotel environment. IBM is also interested in using Watson’s knowledge in our industry.” Said Hilton’s VP, Mr. Jim Holthouser.

IBM has been working, for some time now, with Aldebaran Robotics to deploy Watson AI into Nao. The cute, humanoid robot is better known in educational societies. Despite Connie being able to use Watson’s AI and WayBlazer’s engine, there is still work to do.

“We are in the “observing” mode now. We gather information to understand better what our guests need.” Said IBM Watson’s CTO, Mr. Rob High.

As to when you are going to talk to a Nao robot at your next Hilton visit, no one is saying much. We can only hope that the project works out well and the next time you check in, a He-Neo or She-Neo is going to sort out the paperwork for you.
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When asked to comment on the project, the VP at Hilton group explained that the company is looking to free up time for the front desk staff. By doing so, they can focus the hotel’s guests on a one to one basis.
More than that, he has a message for the “robot pessimists”: “The robots are not here to take our jobs. It is not a labor reduction exercise. It is not why we are doing this.”