The robot debate has been an ongoing thing, even back when robots and AI were never even established enough to cause ‘threat’, thanks to films and stories. As our technology progresses, the question lingers with more validity and reasoning than ever before; what will happen to our jobs in the future?
To answer this, we’ll be looking at hotel jobs, as a lot of hospitality jobs are under one roof; with housekeeping, chefs, reception, managers and even sales.
The first thing to consider is that in hospitality, especially in hotels, building relationships can be the biggest part of a thriving business. Though AI can do the basics, which we will dive into later, there’s no way to truly mimic the language processing or emotional skills to build and recreate that human connection, this is the same with creative ideas and any unpredictability that comes with the job. But what can they do?
If we think about it, factories were the first sign that humans weren’t needed for jobs. It was estimated that in America, between 1993 and 2007, 5.6 human jobs were replaced per robot. That was only the beginning. In fast food places we now have cashier-replacing kiosks, removing the need to ask someone for the food you’d like to order.
You can now replace room service with Relay, which can operate lifts and deliver anything from towels and toothpaste to food and beverages to guests in their room, which is being used in hotels worldwide, including the Residence Inn by Marriott in LA. Another American AI addition is Connie, the AI powered robot in the Hilton McLean, Virginia. Connie is a robotic concierge that can help with recommendations and directions. Even valets will be needed less, with cars that are self-parking and self-driving being up and coming in the vehicular world.
What about the rooms?
There are power management technologies that can turn off lights and appliances that aren’t being used; and for some rooms, you can even speak to Alexa, or another AI system, and ask for lights and TV to be turned on and off, along with evening opening blinds, and calling for room service without lifting a finger. And when it comes to the cleanliness of your floors, all you have to do is look down and watch the Roomba do its thing, these mini vacuum disks are making housekeeping quicker and easier.
Burger flipping robots are even coming out now, making the kitchens a bit more automated.
It looks like this is only the start, but how far can this truly go? It’ll be interesting to find out, but one thing is certain – we still need the human touch in hospitality. Do you think AI is a good thing in hotels? Do you think we can do a 50/50 cover with humans and AI at the workplace? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments!