Next time you check in at a Hilton, your welcome may be even more automated than usual. That’s because the hotel chain has been working with IBM to create a robotic concierge that it call Connie. Connie — named after the hotel chain’s founder, Conrad Hilton, and not its role — is actually a Nao robot imbued with Watson’s smarts. That intelligence is used to understand speech, and IBM claims that it enables the ‘bot to greet guests, answer questions bout the hotel and provide details about local services, sights and restaurants.
Watson, of course, could slot into other roles — not least as a chef. Indeed, many hotel staff may soon be replaced with robots, if recent reports are anything to go by.
Hilton, though, is keen to point out that Connie is a pilot — no, not that kind of pilot — currently on trial in the Hilton McLean in Virginia. It’s unclear if or when it will roll out to other hotels, but at least you now have a reason to visit the Hilton McLean in Virginia.