Meet ‘Connie’ Hilton, first IBM Watson enabled hotel concierge

Hilton Worldwide and IBM today announced their collaboration in the pilot experiment “Connie”.
“Connie” is the first Watson-enabled robot concierge in the hospitality industry.
This Aldebaran Robotics model draws on domain knowledge from Watson and WayBlazer to inform guests on local tourist attractions, dining recommendations and hotel features and amenities.

Named after Hilton’s founder Conrad Hilton, “Connie” marks the first time IBM has developed a Watson-enabled robot for the hospitality market. The robot will work side-by-side with Hilton’s Team Members to assist with visitor requests, personalize the guest experience and empower travelers with more information to help them plan their trips.

The more interactions with guests, the more Connie improves itself

“Connie” is powered by Watson, a cognitive computing technology platform that represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do, through senses, learning and experience. These computers powered by Watson can learn from the interaction with the real world. This means that The more guests interact with Connie, the more it learns, adapts and improves its recommendations.

By tapping into WayBlazer’s extensive travel domain knowledge powered by Watson, Connie can also suggest local attractions outside the hotel.

The hotel will also have access to a log of the questions asked and Connie’s answers, which can enable improvements to guests’ experiences before, during and after their stays.

The robot is currently stationed near reception at the Hilton McLean in Virginia (USA).

“Connie” itself can also rise guest engagement

“This project with Hilton and WayBlazer represents an important shift in human-machine interaction, enabled by the embodiment of Watson’s cognitive computing,” said Rob High, IBM fellow and vice president and chief technology officer of IBM Watson. “Watson helps Connie understand and respond naturally to the needs and interests of Hilton’s guests, which is an experience that’s particularly powerful in a hospitality setting, where it can lead to deeper guest engagement.”

“WayBlazer is excited to bring Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities directly to the traveler as a way to improve the in-destination experience,” said Felix Laboy, CEO of WayBlazer. “We believe providing personalized and relevant insights and recommendations, specifically through a new form factor such as a robot, can transform brand engagement and loyalty at the Hilton.”

One more innovation by Hilton

“Connie” is the latest example of Hilton’s long history of innovation to enhance guest stays, as far back as 1947 as the first hotel company to introduce televisions into guest rooms.

"Connie" interacts with guests. © Hilton Worldwide (Photo Businesswire). To watch the video clic here.
“Connie” interacts with guests. © Hilton Worldwide (Photo Businesswire).
To watch the video clic here.

Recent innovations include digital check-in with Room Selection, which recently surpassed 10 million users; Digital Key; and partnerships with Uber to deliver ‘Local Scene’ and ‘Ride Reminders’ and with Tesla and Current, powered by GE, to rapidly expand the electric vehicle charging program.

Image over the headline.- “Connie”. © Hilton Worldwide (detail of one photo Businesswire )

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