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AWS Explains How Its Generative AI Advancements Will Benefit Hotels

Greg Land, Global Head of Accommodation and Lodging, shares with HT how hoteliers can embrace the potential of generative AI.
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Generative AI has been the buzz word of the year since OpenAI’s ChatGPT product launched in November 2022. Businesses of all sorts (including hotels!) are looking to tap into generative AI’s transformative power so as to revolutionize operations and elevate guest experiences. Knowing this, AWS recently announced five generative AI innovations that are meant to help “organizations of all sizes [to] build new generative AI applications, enhance employee productivity, and transform their business.” To better understand how this tech from AWS could help the hotel industry, HT reached out to AWS and spoke with Greg Land, Global Head of Accommodation and Lodging.

How does AWS anticipate that hoteliers will use Amazon Bedrock?

Hotels, both big and boutique, are embracing the transformative potential of generative AI to reimagine their operations, tackle everyday challenges in innovative ways, and craft unforgettable guest experiences. Amazon Bedrock allows customers to build and scale generative AI applications with a selection of industry-leading foundation models (FMs) from AI21 Labs, Amazon, Anthropic, Cohere, Meta, and Stability AI, along with a broad set of capabilities that customers need to build generative AI applications, simplifying development while maintaining privacy and security. Customers can easily experiment with a variety of top FMs for a wide range of use cases and customize them privately with their proprietary data. 

While many hotels are experimenting with AWS’s generative AI services, the online travel agencies are already taking advantage of Amazon Bedrock with companies like using Amazon Bedrock to improve recommendations for travelers, making them more tailored and relevant. Generative AI can quickly process vast quantities of social media data, live sports events, and customer personas, enabling it to present offers with a significantly greater chance of successful conversions in near real-time. From travel planning and destination exploration to tailored activity suggestions and product recommendations, generative AI opens up a new world for innovation. 

AWS hotel customers are also looking to harness the power of generative AI to boost employee productivity. It can be a valuable assistant for gleaning insights from guest interactions, enabling smarter service decisions, optimizing resource allocation, and refining scheduling for a seamless guest experience. We’re already seeing AWS customers use generative AI for training materials, simulations, and even chatbots to help staff answer common guest questions. Generative AI can also provide significant benefits for developer productivity. It can be a powerful assistant for repetitive coding tasks like testing and debugging, freeing developers to focus on more complex tasks that require human problem-solving skills. The potential is limitless, and the future is nothing short of thrilling.

Why is it important that hoteliers use their own data to build generative AI applications?

The golden rule stands tall: "Garbage in, garbage out." Generative AI is only as good as the data it’s trained on. In order to train quality models, you must start with quality, unified data from your business. For example, in the world of large hotel companies with franchise models, brand protection is paramount. Your secret weapon is leveraging your own data and brand messaging. This ensures that generative AI serves up content and responses that perfectly align with the tone and message of each unique brand, preserving their individual identity.

As a first step, hoteliers should look to embrace a comprehensive data strategy that treats data as the crown jewel it is—a strategic resource. Building a full data picture requires ingestion of everything: clickstream data, marketing data, point-of-sale data, social/mobile, streaming data from in-store IoT sensors, supply chain etc. Breaking down the barriers between data silos, those hidden vaults of information, is like unlocking the treasure trove. This transformation enables data to flow seamlessly across departments, breathing life into your data, making it actionable. By using the data you already have, you can ensure your investment in generative AI is both targeted and strategic.

Is it possible Amazon Bedrock could replace some software applications that are commonly used within the hotel industry? 

It’s not about replacing existing applications; it’s about making those applications more intelligent. We already see this in customer experience. It’s undergoing a remarkable transformation, thanks in part to generative AI powered chatbots, virtual assistants, intelligent contact centers, and content moderation. Think about how much more effective contact centers can become. Guests’ plans are often changed last minute, or disrupted, and call centers are too often ill-equipped to respond. Instead of working with legacy providers or being constrained by company resources, hotel companies can leverage generative AI contact centers. By adding LLMs, or FMs, hoteliers can get very high-quality call summarizes, that really negate the need for agents to fill out their standard post-call wrap up forms – same goes for call outcomes, the LLM will tell you what the outcome was, the agent doesn’t have to actually work it out by scanning through the AI-generated transcript for all of the pertinent details. The result? A revamped experience that caters to the needs of both agents and customers, raising the bar for excellence.

How has security been built into this service?

As with all technology, security and privacy are paramount, and generative AI introduces new considerations. Built with enterprise-grade security and privacy in mind, Amazon Bedrock makes it easy for customers to protect sensitive data. Amazon Bedrock offers several capabilities to support security and privacy requirements and is compatible with common compliance standards. Your content is not used to improve the base models and is not shared with third-party model providers - protecting customers’ valuable intellectual property.

How will CodeWhisperer make the lives of hotel developer staff easier?

Software developers often find themselves in a repetitive dance with straightforward, run-of-the-mill code. They resort to a digital scavenger hunt, hunting the web for code snippets to tweak and adapt. But here's the catch – it's a risky business. Cloning code can lead to bugs, security vulnerabilities, and open-source oversights. Imagine being a software developer for a hotel company with an AI-powered coding companion, making your coding faster and easier. Amazon CodeWhisperer does just that. It uses generative AI under the hood to provide code suggestions in real time, based on a user’s comments and their prior code. 

What makes CodeWhisperer unique for the hotel industry?

What’s unique about Amazon CodeWhisperer is its Reference Tracker feature, which empowers developers to write code responsibly by notifying code sources and necessary licensing information directly in the developer’s preferred IDE. Developers can accept the top recommendation, view more recommendations, or continue writing their own code. Amazon CodeWhisperer filters out code suggestions that might be considered biased or unfair and can flag code suggestions that may resemble particular open-source training data. It can also scan for hard-to-detect vulnerabilities and propose code to remediate them. 

How will QuickSight make it easier for hospitality business analysts to do their job?

Analysts spend a lot of time extracting data and insights from various dashboards to create presentations for other stakeholders. However, this process often involves manually copying and pasting visuals into various documents, resulting in quickly outdated information. Amazon Quicksight helps hotel companies meet varying analytic needs from the same source of truth through modern interactive dashboards, paginated reports, and embedded analytics.

BWH Hotels’ Revenue Management team was an early adopter of Amazon QuickSight. The sales team implemented Amazon QuickSight to perform recency, frequency, and monetary (RFM) analysis. This approach allows them to access the information they need to make informed decisions about customer prioritization right within QuickSight. QuickSight’s new Q-powered authoring experience combines our early innovation in QuickSight with the new LLM capabilities available through Amazon Bedrock, to make creating, discovering, and sharing compelling insights as simple as asking a question in natural language. For instance, a hotelier seeking to convey more insightful data-driven pricing or revenue per room recommendations related to location and purchase channels can use QuickSight’s new Q-powered authoring experience to create calculations seamlessly, rapidly generate visuals, and refine the visual presentation using natural language, all without the need for constant cross-referencing of dashboards.

Generative business intelligence authoring tools offer a solution for hospitality business analysts, simplifying the creation and customization of visuals. This not only expedites the delivery of insights necessary for data-driven decisions but also streamlines the process by allowing users to describe their desired visuals in everyday language.

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