Cognitive computing – how it will transform hospitality
Online TV provider Netflix uses machine learning to make suggestions for future viewing based on data it has collected about subscribers’ previous viewing habits.
that is part of modern day living and the way cognitive computing is being applied to the hospitality trade will help transform the experience of guests, according to to Bret Greenstein, VP of Consumer Business with IBM Watson Internet of Things.
In an interview with duettoresearch.com he believes hospitality is set to benefit as much as healthcare, retail, agriculture and just about every other industry to “deliver an experience unlike any other”.
“Cognitive computing is basically the intersection between the Internet of things and the Internet of people,” says Greenstein, who will present on this topic November 6th at RSF London at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross. His presentation is titled “Cognitive and Predictive Intelligence: How Watson Will Change Hospitality.”
Greenstein spoke with Duetto in advance of his opening keynote presentation.
“Cognitive computing is basically the simulation of human thought processes in a computerised model,” he says. “The systems use self-learning algorithms to better interpret data without having to code it. Before cognitive, computing was all cause and effect. But these systems are trained through interaction, much like a human brain.
“Say you walk into your hotel room. You turn the TV on and we learn that you like to watch sports. If we begin collecting that data, and those interactions, we can start recognising patterns about your preferences and anticipate what you’re going to do, need or want next. Then we can make suggestions based on that information. It means a hotel can know their guest even better and enhance and personalise their experience, which will drive loyalty.”
He offers an example: “I love steak. And I like the temperature of my room to be 68°F. I also like to watch sports. Imagine if the hotel I’m staying with knew all this about me before I even arrived on property. At check-in, they could suggest the nearest steakhouse and remind me what channel ESPN is on. They could even have the temperature of the room preset to my preference. Or they could push a notification to me via the app, suggesting a steak special in their restaurant to keep me on property and increase my spend with them.”
And technology that’s easy to install offers huge opportunities, he says. “Before the Internet of Things (IoT), companies did their best to leverage any data they’d get. But with IoT, there’s additional data that many companies haven’t figured out what to do with yet. I think it’s essential — and can give you a competitive advantage — to figure out what the data means. Once you do, you can maximise an experience and become far more valuable to your guest.
“For example, in the hotel setting, it would be useful to know which channels I watch, how long I’m in the room, where I go when I leave the hotel, and where I eat while I stay with you. This will allow you, the hotelier, to create offers or experiences based on my behaviour.”
He also advised how hotels can focus on whats best for their business and where to obtain the data. “For example, there might be a high correlation between single people and what they do in a hotel versus married people,” he said. “Most people are buying demographics through third parties. Most retailers know a profile of me. If you acquire that data, you might see those things that would be helpful.
“If you know that I’m traveling with my family, it might be more useful to suggest fast casual restaurants instead of high-end expensive dinners. You could present these suggestions at the front desk or through the mobile app in a way that would be meaningful.
“For the future I think hotel rooms will become more connected and the experience will become more personalised. I think there will be a consumerisation of the experience where we walk into a room and can interface with it with voice controls. I also think Big Data will transform the services side.”