Artificial intelligence is rapidly moving from the laboratory and into business and consumer applications. The result is a fundamental shift in how software is built, and what it's capable of doing. And while we're still a way off from the artificial general intelligence portrayed in the movies, artificial narrow intelligence is a reality that's already powering some of the most successful technology businesses today, including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.

So… Which areas of the hospitality industry are and will be most suited to implement AI and why? What's your take?

Max Starkov
Max Starkov
Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant
Jai Govindani
Jai Govindani
Chief Technology Officer at Red Planet Hotels

By AI I think we typically refer to ML (Machine Learning). ML could be leveraged in various aspects - yielding by anticipating guest arrival/departure times, anticipating guest requests, even planning/anticipating staff capacity. The issue, as always, is the data - integrations between hospitality systems are still not universal, data is still siloed, and the quality of the data itself is generally low due to human error which should be compensated for, but is generally magnified by complex and difficult-to-use technology platforms. This means that while ML could benefit the industry, the data infrastructure within hospitality companies required to realize these benefits is 'not quite there' yet.

Michael Schubach
Michael Schubach
Vice President of Product Management for Infor Hospitality
Ian Millar
Ian Millar
Manager of Institute of Business Creativity & Senior Lecturer at EHL Hospitality Business School

Even though still in the Buzz word stage, AI will play a massive role in our industry. Most will state that it will be a customer facing technology. From concierge robots who can interact with guests to chatbots and messaging. While these are a great use of the technology where I believe it can have the biggest impact is data analysis. Being able to take all the customer reviews, surveys, online comments, and social media postings and being able to create understandable and actionable items from the system that hotels can improve their service offering or better understand their customers to drive better performance will be where this technology should have its place in our industry.

Floor Bleeker
Floor Bleeker
Chief Technology Officer at Accor
Mark Fancourt
Mark Fancourt
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH
Klaus  Kohlmayr
Klaus Kohlmayr
Chief Evangelist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions
Bryan Hammer
Bryan Hammer
Vice President IT at Belmond
Fergus Boyd
Fergus Boyd
Hospitality Consultant
Timo Kettern
Timo Kettern
Corporate Director of IT at Bierwirth & Kluth Hotel Management
Jon Davis
Jon Davis
CTO at Village Hotel Club

AI is a very exciting topic with many seeing it as the most impactful emerging technology. I think the most exciting use of the technology will be in the improved efficiency and success of forecasting. Being able to draw from data of both internal and external sources will allow us to paint a more accurate picture of how changes in the environment impact the business. Taking over some of the more data driven tasks will allow our experts to focus on the application of the forecast and changes that will have positive impacts on the business. 

Uli Pillau
Uli Pillau
Founder and CEO of apaleo
Ryan King
Ryan King
Senior Director of Strategy, Global at Shiji Group
Gregg Hopkins
Gregg Hopkins
Senior Managing Director at PROVision Partners
Juanjo  Rodriguez
Juanjo Rodriguez
Founder, The Hotels Network

The keyword here is personalization. When applying AI to the interaction between hospitality brands and travelers, we can arrive at Predictive Personalization: understanding user behavior to predict how to best serve him so that we increase both user satisfaction and hotel revenue. By focusing on a narrow, industry-specific use of machine learning, it's possible to create predictive algorithms and offer completely new, powerful targeting options like buying intent or user value, and even attempt to find the holy grail of e-commerce: personalized price.