Watson APIs

Hilton and IBM pilot “Connie,” The world’s first Watson-enabled hotel concierge robot

Share this post:

Travel can be stressful and requires countless decisions. Increasingly travelers are expecting relevant guidance during their journeys, and the hospitality industry is beginning to pilot technology that can help address these needs at each step of the way.

Today Hilton Worldwide and IBM announced a collaboration to pilot “Connie” – the first Watson-enabled robot concierge in the hospitality industry. Connie draws on domain knowledge from Watson and WayBlazer to inform guests on local tourist attractions, dining recommendations and hotel features and amenities.

Imagine if you could bypass the line at the front desk and ask Connie about your checkout time, how to get to the gym or even the top sushi recommendations in the area? Using cognitive technology for hospitality not only builds the customer experience, but also expands the brand journey and enables staff to have more time to serve each guest.

Connie, named for Hilton’s founder Conrad Hilton, marks the first time IBM has developed a Watson-enabled robot for the hospitality market. Connie 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. Connie learns from each guest interaction and continually builds his knowledge.

“We’re focused on reimagining the entire travel experience to make it smarter, easier and more enjoyable for guests,” said Jonathan Wilson, vice president, product innovation and brand services, Hilton Worldwide. “By tapping into innovative partners like IBM Watson, we’re wowing our guests in the most unpredictable ways.”

Connie the robot greeting guests

Connie, in pilot testing at the hotel, uses cognitive computing and machine learning to answer questions posed in natural language about the hotel, local tourist attractions and restaurants.

“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.”

This is not the first time the Hilton has turned to technology and innovation to enhance its guest stays. Visitors can use digital check-in with Room Selection,
as well as 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.

“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.”

Watson Engagement Advisor
Discover how you can use Watson in robots and other applications for customer engagement.


Editorial, Influencer Engagement, IBM Watson

More Watson APIs stories
March 20, 2019

Planning your data-driven AI journey

As you’ve seen and heard at Elevate: AI, this is an exciting time in artificial intelligence – especially in terms of what it can do in business. As more and more enterprises are embarking on their AI journeys, one of the biggest challenges we’re seeing is making sense of the massive amounts of digitized data being produced every day. This is relevant to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors – and we in marketing are certainly no exception.

Continue reading

February 25, 2019

Serving society ethically in the age of Artificial Intelligence

This week, Ethisphere Institute announced its 2019 list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies—and IBM is one of the few leading companies in the information and technology services category to receive the award. This recognition highlights companies like IBM, working with partners and clients to do the right thing, by operating with integrity every day.

Continue reading

February 21, 2019

What’s happening in conversational AI

Conversational AI is a type of artificial intelligence that enables software to understand and interact with people naturally, using spoken or written language. Chances are you’ve encountered conversational AI or chatbots on your smartphone or other smart device.

Continue reading