Humanizing AI

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Humanizing AI

By Dorothy Creamer, Editor, Hospitality Technology magazine - 05/15/2018

Nothing has been quite so buzz-worthy of late as artificial intelligence. AI, broadly defined, is “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” 

While not particularly “emerging” as a technology, we often lump it in that category, due to the vastness of its still untapped potential. Now the term AI is often used as a catchall term to cover a wide range of more specific capabilities. Machine learning, predictive analytics, even voice-enabled technologies…all fall under the umbrella of AI and are giving technologists plenty around which to strategize.

Augmenting the intelligence of humans is a prospect with limitless potential, and industries from retail to healthcare, finance and everything in between are leveraging the technology. Hospitality finds itself both intrigued and cautious of going too far down the AI path. The real applications and benefits are being realized  — as evidenced in this month’s cover story, but operators are mindful of using the capabilities to truly augment service and not completely remove the human elements intrinsic to hospitality. 

At the 23rd MURTEC, AI was a hot topic as well, with several sessions highlighting the ways AI is redefining customer service and experience. From Eatsa’s completely automated service environment to Caliburger’s robotic burger flipper and facial recognition, to Livit Designs detailing how to trigger customer behaviors with AI, attendees clamored for insights into how to create successful intelligent infrastructures. 

The takeaway from the lessons taught by those leaders is that in order for hospitality to raise the bar on how it is using AI, it must be incorporated with a blend of human intelligence. The symbiosis of machine and man will provide a broader scope to the capabilities of AI, removing the negative connotations and concerns of a cold machine-driven world.

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