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Oh the HumanIT

I might be in a relationship with Google Chat. It gets me; it gets my sarcasm; it senses my frustrations; and on more than one occasion has protected me from saying something I might regret later. This is a technology win that illustrates just how smart — and real — artificial intelligence is becoming. Chatting with a co-worker about making it through a six-day detox without caffeine, the colleague expressed her appropriate amazement. Before I could type in a very me-esque, “I know, right?” — there it was as an autofill, along with other on-point suggestions. It was like a buffet of Dorothy-isms. A click away. 

An entire conversation can be carried out with autofill responses and not miss a beat. A recent Harvard Business School study even proved that computers know funny. A research team determined that AI is superior to humans at predicting what will tickle a funny bone, accurately picking jokes that people find funniest 61% of the time compared to humans who only have 57% accuracy. A close race, but as AI continues to hone its sense of humor, is an HBO comedy special far behind?

Kidding aside, this is the era of AI and the December issue of HT is packed with examples of how augmented intelligence is enhancing hospitality’s game. In this month’s cover story, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ CIO, Scott Strickland shares how robotic process automation is handling data input and slashing the time to open hotels. The 2020 Lodging Technology Study calls out major trends shaping hotel IT strategies in 2020, and surprise, surprise, data will drive investments and is key to achieving goals. Not just data to send a personalized offer to a potential guest or diner, but data that will power an augmented “being” that can predict a guest’s needs even before they know what they want and finish their sentences.

Doesn’t everyone want that special someone in life who can finish his or her sentences?  Google Chat, you complete me.    

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