Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the Hospitality Industry

Oct 3, 2018

Sophia was on display at the Hawaii Tourism Authority's 2018 Global Tourism Summit.
Credit Web Summit SM5_7157 / Flickr

It may feel like the era where robots can truly replace humans is far off, but it may be closer than you think. At the Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu this week attendees got to listen to a conversation between a human and a highly advanced artificially intelligent robot.

Sophia was designed by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics. “She” can display over 50 facial expressions, has the ability to recognize specific human faces, and can even understand jokes and tell her own. But most importantly, Sophia can respond to human conversation.  With every human interaction, Sophia learns a little bit more about language.

According to Sophia, robots will always need humans and work best when cooperating with human partners.
Credit Wikipedia

Unlike other machines who have replaced human labor, like auto manufacturing and banking, Sophia is designed to replicate uniquely human activities like conversation, thought, and emotional understanding.

The hotel workers union Unite Here! Local 5 is currently negotiating for protections against job automation in the hospitality industry. With the abilities already being displayed by Sophia, it is not hard to imagine a hotel fully staffed by humanoid robots to provide customer service. 

Listen to Kainoa Daines' full discussion with Sophia: