What kinds of roles would robots and AI have in the hotel industry? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Ayush Sharma, MS Robotics, Northwestern University, on Quora:

I can envision a lot of roles that might seem ridiculous now but might become completely possible in the future of the hotel industry. These are just some that come to the top of my mind:

  1. Check in/reception desk. This role is surely going to go the way of AI in the future. Imagine as you walk into the hotel gates, the AI automatically knows it you by interfacing with your cell phone or by using some form of facial recognition and assigns you a room based on your preferences. You would simply walk up to that room and enjoy your stay. Your cellphone would be your room key as well. If you don't have a reservation in advance, you can book a room on your way from the airport and have it ready when you arrive. The AI will also remember exactly how you like your room and have it that way upon your arrival.
  2. Valet. Self driven cars will certainly make valets redundant, the car can park itself.
  3. Cleaning/Maintenance. Though robots cannot completely replace these roles, some of them can. For example, vacuuming/washing the floors, pool maintenance etc.
  4. Room service/Bell. Automated robots will deliver food or anything else you've ordered to your room as well as carry your luggage to your rooms. AI can even automate these tasks so that they remember your preferences whenever you visit the hotel. Always drink a cup of earl grey 4:00 PM everyday? AI will remember and have it delivered whenever you stay.
  5. Employee management. AI will be able to determine how to optimally deploy the hotel staff and will know patterns of peak demand and accordingly will make sure all the guests are well served all the time.
  6. Power management. AI can monitor energy usage and save electricity by intelligently turning on and off lighting and appliances based on activity in the said regions of the hotel and by precisely controlling the cooling and heating systems to optimize guest comfort and energy usage.
  7. Security. AI and robots can assist in the security infrastructure by monitoring the premises for scrupulous activity and report any mishaps.

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