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In a post-coronavirus world, hotels could be staffed by robots – IAM Network

#artificialintelligence

Humanoid robot Pepper is placed at the lobby area of a hotel in Tokyo reserved for coronavirus patients with mild or no symptoms. Researchers say they could soon be undertaking all front and back of house activities in hotels to help the industry from the coronavirus crisis. These include cooking hamburgers and cleaning floors, as well as serving cocktails, checking in hotel guests, and delivering items to hotel rooms. They say the development of service robots are anticipated to increase efficiency and productivity of hotel activities. The team from the University of Surrey spoke to 19 different hotel HR experts to identify the key trends and major challenges that will emerge in the next ten years.


The Pandemic Brings Some African Tech Workers Luxe Lodging

WIRED

Many of her neighbors have fallen on hard times since Covid-19 shut the city last month, but she's been lifted into the lap of luxury. Akol, who is 28, works for Samasource, a company that labels images and other data for companies such as Google, creating the feedstock for artificial intelligence projects like self-driving cars. She's the main breadwinner in the busy Nairobi apartment she shares with her 7-year-old son and her two brothers, ages 8 and 24. But Akol hasn't seen her family or apartment for around a month because, like most of Samasource's Nairobi staff, she now lives and works from a resort hotel. Her window at the four-star Ole Sereni overlooks the grassy plains of Nairobi National Park--a major change from the company's open-plan office next to a freeway.


3 ways technology can boost CX while keeping costs under control – even during challenging times - ClickZ

#artificialintelligence

The travel industry is overwhelmed. As the coronavirus continues spreading around the globe, thousands of customers are calling hotels and airlines to cancel or change plans based on highly variable and unpredictable changes – and as a result, millions of travel-related jobs will be lost. With an industry so dependent on reviews and word of mouth recommendations, customer service and experiences are the foundation of the travel industries. Yet, we're facing unprecedented times, and every customer is different. Each individual is having to make dramatic, sometimes emotional decisions about their plans for the year.


Pepper the robot comforts coronavirus patients being quarantined at Tokyo hotels

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms are quarantined at hotels in Tokyo staffed by robots. Five hotels are around the city are using robots to help limit the spread, one being the world's first social humanoid Pepper. 'Please, wear a mask inside,' it says in a perky voice to welcome those moving into the hotel and also offers words of support - 'I hope you recover as quickly as possible.' Other facilities have employed AI-powered robots that disinfect surfaces to limit the need of human workers who are at risk of being exposed. Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms are quarantined at hotels in Tokyo staffed by robots.


Robots and cameras: China's sci-fi quarantine watch

The Japan Times

Beijing – Robots delivering meals, ghostly figures in hazmat suits and cameras pointed at front doors: China's methods to enforce coronavirus quarantines have looked like a sci-fi dystopia for legions of people. Authorities have taken drastic steps to ensure that people do not break isolation rules after China largely tamed the virus that had paralyzed the country for months. With cases imported from abroad threatening to unravel China's progress, travelers arriving from overseas have been required to stay home or in designated hotels for 14 days. Beijing loosened the rule in the capital this week -- except for those arriving from abroad and Hubei, the province where the virus first surfaced late last year. At one quarantine hotel in central Beijing, a guard sits at a desk on each floor to monitor all movements.


Digital transformation for the hospitality industry - Babin Business Consulting

#artificialintelligence

Digital transformation is all about how companies decide to embrace new technology and change to optimize their business. Digital progress needs to be used for the best of companies, employees and customers. In the US alone, out of 10 companies 8 have started a digital transformation program. In this post, let's have a look at how the hospitality industry could be impacted. From the moment you start thinking about a hotel or a restaurant, AI powered algorithm can choose for you which one will be more suited for you.


Travel Industry Automates Pandemic Response With New Digital Tools

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"We've set it to alert us if someone has a fever over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit," Brett Smith, chief information officer of the airport's operator, Propeller Airports, said about the repurposed device. The camera screens passengers as they line up for standard security checks by the Transportation Security Administration. Passengers with high fevers are screened a second time, and ultimately the airline determines if they pose a danger to others on board, Mr. Smith said. The airport began operations in March 2019 and serves as a northwestern hub for Alaska Airlines and United Airlines. Developed in 2018, in the wake of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Athena's gun-detecting camera operates by combining object detection, computer vision and machine-learning to identify weapons and automatically alert on-site workers and police.


Tokyo unveils robots that will serve coronavirus patients at hotels

FOX News

Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips is the chief clinical officer and executive vice president for Providence St. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Tokyo will use robots to attend to coronavirus patients housed in local hotels. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government unveiled two robots on Friday at the Apa Hotel & Resort in the capital's Sumida ward. The Apa Hotel is one of five hotels in Tokyo that the metropolitan government is renting to house hospital patients with no or mild symptoms of COVID-19. Doctors and nurses attend the guests at the hotel, but the government hopes that the Softbank-developed robots will help to cheer up the otherwise isolated guests.


Robots on hand to greet Japanese coronavirus patients in hotels - Reuters

#artificialintelligence

TOKYO (Reuters) - Coronavirus patients with light symptoms arriving to stay at several Tokyo hotels are likely to get a lift from a pleasant surprise - a robot greeter in the lobby. Japan is now using hotels to house patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus but whose symptoms are too light to need hospitalisation, and several in the capital of Tokyo just opened on Friday feature robots to help lighten the burden on nurses. In one, a big-eyed robot named "Pepper" - appropriately wearing a protective mask - stood waiting to welcome visitors. "Please, wear a mask inside," it said in a perky voice. "I hope you recover as quickly as possible."


Robots on Hand to Greet Japanese Coronavirus Patients in Hotels

U.S. News

Japan is now using hotels to house patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus but whose symptoms are too light to need hospitalisation, and several in the capital of Tokyo just opened on Friday feature robots to help lighten the burden on nurses.