Will hotel jobs ever be replaced by AI entirely?

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2019 by IK1 comment

How likely is it that AI could replace hotel jobs? Many sectors have this question. The robot/AI debate is now more prevalent than ever. As our technology progresses, the question lingers with more validity and reasoning than ever before; what will happen to our jobs in the future?

To answer this, we’ll be looking at hotel jobs, as a lot of hospitality jobs are under one roof; with housekeeping, chefs, reception, managers and even sales.

The first thing to consider is that in hospitality, especially in hotels, building relationships can be the biggest part of a thriving business.  Though AI can do the basics, which we will dive into later, there’s no way to truly mimic the language processing or emotional skills to build and recreate that human connection, this is the same with creative ideas and any unpredictability that comes with the job.  But what can they do?

If you think about it, factories were the first sign that humans could be replaced. Estimates showed that between 1993 and 2007, 5.6 million jobs were replaced by robots. [1]  That was only the beginning.  In fast food places we now have cashier-replacing kiosks, removing the need to ask someone for the food you’d like to order.

Services like Relay are now replacing room service. Relay is software that operates elevators and delivers anything from towels and toothpaste to food and beverages to guests in their rooms. It is currently being used in hotels worldwide, including the Residence Inn by Marriott in LA.  Another American AI addition is Connie, the AI powered robot in the Hilton McLean, Virginia.  Connie is a robotic concierge that can help with recommendations and directions.  Even valets will be needed less, with cars that are self-parking and self-driving being up and coming in the vehicular world.

Teenage girl talking to an Amazon Alexa Echo Dot

What about the rooms?

There's lots of new technologies to enhance guests' stays! Although, these don't necessarily replace jobs. AI such as power management technologies that can turn off lights and appliances that aren’t being used. For some rooms, Alexa or a similar system can turn on and off lights and the TV, along with evening opening blinds, and calling for room service without lifting a finger.  And when it comes to the cleanliness of your floors, all you have to do is look down and watch the Roomba do its thing, these mini vacuum disks are making housekeeping quicker and easier.

Burger flipping robots are even coming out now, making the kitchens a bit more automated.

It looks like this is only the start, but how far can this truly go?  It’ll be interesting to find out, but one thing is certain – we still need the human touch in hospitality.  Do you think AI is a good thing in hotels?  Do you think we can do a 50/50 cover with humans and AI at the workplace? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments!

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1 comment on "Will hotel jobs ever be replaced by AI entirely?"

  • Ganesh says: 2 May 2019 at 16:16

    Nothing can replace the human touch and the value they bring. Yes, robots can deliver the same work but it doesn't have the emotions like humans and especially in hospital sector where humans interaction is needed, the same applies to hotels as well. At the same time, just cant rule out the usage of AI in these sectors. Technology must be used for the welfare and benefit of the people not at the cost of replacing them.