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Police: Woman met man on dating app, held him up using a pink taser

Boston Herald

And then there are really bad dates. A Washington state woman with a pink taser was arrested on Tuesday after she was accused of trying to hold up a man she had met online, Boston police said. Selena Rivera-Apodaca, 24, of Kent, Wash., is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday on a charge of armed robbery. Shortly before noon on Tuesday, officers went to the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 1 Avenue De LaFayette in response to a radio call about an armed robbery. When they arrived, police said, officers were met by a man who said he had met a woman on an online dating app.


Hospitality Industry Turns to Tech to Lure Guests Back

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The initiatives, overseen by information technology executives, are aimed at helping hotels dig out of what has been a dire season, with steep declines in occupancy, staff layoffs and a fear among some guests of contracting Covid-19. "Without technology, there's no way those companies recover fully," said Les Ottolenghi, who was chief information officer at Caesars Entertainment Corp. until last November. Caesars merged last month with Eldorado Resorts Inc. The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team. U.S. hotel occupancy collapsed from about 60% in February to roughly 22% in April, according to data analytics firm STR, owned by CoStar Group Inc.


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.


Managing Diversity in Airbnb Search

arXiv.org Machine Learning

One of the long-standing questions in search systems is the role of diversity in results. From a product perspective, showing diverse results provides the user with more choice and should lead to an improved experience. However, this intuition is at odds with common machine learning approaches to ranking which directly optimize the relevance of each individual item without a holistic view of the result set. In this paper, we describe our journey in tackling the problem of diversity for Airbnb search, starting from heuristic based approaches and concluding with a novel deep learning solution that produces an embedding of the entire query context by leveraging Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). We hope our lessons learned will prove useful to others and motivate further research in this area.


Airbnb uses AI-enabled trait analyser to check if its customers are psychopaths - AI News

#artificialintelligence

A new technology developed by Airbnb conducts background check and evaluates the users' reliability, compatibility, behavioural and personality traits. According to a report by the Evening Standard, the technology, which is a'trait analysing software', was built after the online lodging and homestay platform received complaints from hosts in London that some of their guests used their properties for rowdy parties. One such incident reported by an owner reveals that her £2.5 million flat was misused and wrecked by hundreds of drug-fuelled ravers, who rented the property ostensibly for a baby shower. In 2019, Airbnb's background check technology was revealed in a patent issued by the European Patent Office and published in the US. The patent states that Airbnb could deploy its software to scan sites including social media for traits such as "conscientiousness and openness" against the usual credit and identity checks.


Airbnb Is Using AI To Predict Whether Guests Are Psychopaths

#artificialintelligence

Airbnb is using technology that looks at their guests' online personalities to determine their trustworthiness. These "untrustworthy" traits include "narcissism, Machiavellianism, or psychopathy", along with "neuroticism and involvement in crimes" The background check technology was developed by a startup named Trooly. It was revealed in a patent published by the European Patent Office after being granted in the US last year, reports Evening Standard. Airbnb users are given a risk score on the basis of'red flags' that the AI might find, and these scores indicate how reliable a guest they would make. It comes after several complaints from Airbnb hosts about guests holding rowdy parties and damaging property.


Analysis and Machine Learning Modeling of New York City Airbnb Data

#artificialintelligence

Airbnb is an online-based marketing company that connects people looking for accommodation (Airbnb guests) to people looking to rent their properties (Airbnb hosts) on a short-term or long-term basis. The rentals properties includes apartments (dominant), homes, boats, and whole lot more. Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb has steadily risen in terms of revenue growth and its range of service provisions. As of 2019, there 150 million users of Airbnb services in 191 countries, making it a major disruptor of the traditional hospitality industry (this is akin to how Uber and other emerging transportation services have disrupted the traditional intra-city transportation services). Airbnb generates revenue by charging its guests and hosts fees for arranging stays: hosts are charged 3% of the value of the booking, while guests are charged 6%-12% per the nature of the booking.


Julianna Barwick Is Using the New York Sky to Make Music

The New Yorker

On a recent Tuesday evening, the experimental musician Julianna Barwick checked into Sister City, a new two-hundred-room boutique hotel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. If you're having the sort of day that makes you want to minimize human interaction, Sister City is a merciful oasis: there are self-service registration kiosks in the lobby, and each floor features a supply closet containing the sorts of sundries that you'd usually have to request from the concierge. The lobby has sparse but careful décor--clean white walls, cherry-wood furniture, floor tiles in muted shades of green and gray--suggesting a Scandinavian sauna, or perhaps the careful serenity of a Japanese stationery store; the vibe is "Serenity Now!" filtered through Instagram. Barwick, who has long, dark hair and inquisitive eyes, is using the sky immediately above the hotel as a source for a new composition. A camera mounted to the roof of the building sends information about the goings-on in the airspace above the hotel (rain, clouds, pigeons, airplanes, wind, sun, moonlight, drones, helicopters, constellations, what have you) to Pereira's program, which uses Microsoft's artificial intelligence to cue sounds written and recorded by Barwick.


Hotels-50K: A Global Hotel Recognition Dataset

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Recognizing a hotel from an image of a hotel room is important for human trafficking investigations. Images directly link victims to places and can help verify where victims have been trafficked, and where their traffickers might move them or others in the future. Recognizing the hotel from images is challenging because of low image quality, uncommon camera perspectives, large occlusions (often the victim), and the similarity of objects (e.g., furniture, art, bedding) across different hotel rooms. To support efforts towards this hotel recognition task, we have curated a dataset of over 1 million annotated hotel room images from 50,000 hotels. These images include professionally captured photographs from travel websites and crowd-sourced images from a mobile application, which are more similar to the types of images analyzed in real-world investigations. We present a baseline approach based on a standard network architecture and a collection of data-augmentation approaches tuned to this problem domain.


Robot Hotel Loses Love for Robots

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Turns out, robots aren't the best at hospitality. After opening in a blaze of publicity in 2015, Japan's Henn na, or "Strange," Hotel, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's first robot hotel, is now laying off its low-performing droids. So far, the hotel has culled over half of its 243 robots, many because they created work rather than reduced it. "It's easier now that we're not being frequently called by guests to help with problems with the robots," said one staff member who has worked at the hotel for three years. Robots and other devices that could be useful to the hospitality industry were all over the CES consumer-technology show last week in Las Vegas.