“Taking a new step is what people fear most”. This quote by Russian writer Dostoevsky embodies well one of the sad lingering reality of today’s hospitality market: the fear of change. Nowadays, many hoteliers would probably rather still live in the first half of the 20th century, when guests would come to their hotel and fill every single room without any hassle. No innovation, no marketing, no change was needed whatsoever.
However, times have changed and the hospitality market is now more competitive than ever before. In fact, between OTAs, review websites and price comparison engines, you can often feel, as a hotelier, like a needle in a haystack. At this point, you could just stay passive, blaming society and big internet corporation for your bad numbers. Or you could see this new setting as a unique opportunity to take advantage of those who are still stuck a few decades behind. But the latter means going through innovation and change.
In the midst of all this, a new technology is slowly emerging. One that will change society perhaps more rapidly than any previous tech revolutions ever have: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Ever since its first introduction, in 1956 it has seen ups and downs but we had to wait until very recently to see real progress in the area. Today AI is one of the hottest talks in town, with billions in investments coming its way every year. But what does it mean concretely?
At first glance, AI has got kind of a science-fiction ring to it. Talk about Artificial Intelligence with your friends and there is a good chance they’ll mention a cinematographic reference; be it Hal from 2001, a Space Odyssey or R2D2 from Star Wars. This cultural background deeply shaped the popular definition of AI, mostly in a bad light. In fact, today, one of the most common clichés associated with AI is the fear of robots taking over humanity. These concerns manifested in today’s world as an overly cautious stance regarding AI. For example, AI became a great scapegoat on a number of modern problems, including unemployment (i.e. technology is stealing our jobs).
Hal wasn’t that great of an advertisement for AI
Maybe we should try to forget all bias we might have and start over with a proper definition. According to Peltarion, a company specialized in operational AI platforms, “Artificial Intelligence is when machines are able to learn from experience, adapt to new inputs and complete tasks that require intelligence”. Basically, it’s about teaching machines to do basic human tasks. Sounds easy right?
Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. What humans would consider simple tasks, let’s say serve a glass of water, order a pizza or fix an appointment is very difficult for a computer to achieve. On the other hand, what can easily be done by computers (like advanced mathematical calculations) can be almost impossible for humans. That’s why AI can only come to life when both humans and computers work together. That means you need both someone capable of figuring out the strategical ideas and someone who can handle the technological part. This may sound complicated but, today, many companies offer this service for a more than affordable price (see Peltarion for example). And once the conditions are met, possibilities are almost endless.
Putting this into the hospitality market context, we can imagine a wide range of different uses for AI. A personal assistant in each one of your rooms to fill any requests your guests might have? What about a smart engine running on your website capable of helping customers to book? You just need to figure out which one suits your current needs.
At PrivateDeal, we decided to take the subject at heart. As a reminder, PrivateDeal is an online bidding engine for hoteliers which take negotiation with clients to another level. Through its unique smart negotiation system, PrivateDeal lets your guests give their own price for a room and negotiate automatically with them.
We are convinced that these new features, powered by AI, are going to revolutionize the way guests book their hotel room. Change is happening now, don’t miss it.
If you want to know more about the PrivateDeal Product, feel free to contact us and/or to visit our website via the links down below ?
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