IHG Embraces A Full Hotel AI Age, Baidu in Hand

Updated 2017-11-30 14:30:56 Global Times
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Baidu announce their agreement on a strategic cooperation at the annual Baidu World Conference. (Photo/Courtesy of IHG)

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Baidu announce their agreement on a strategic cooperation at the annual Baidu World Conference. (Photo/Courtesy of IHG)

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Baidu have announced their agreement on a strategic cooperation at the annual Baidu World Conference on November 16.

With the use of Baidu's latest smart home assistant Raven H, a voice-activated speaker that runs on artificial intelligence (AI) from the DuerOS Open Platform, a conversation-based AI platform, a new-generation intelligent hospitality solution has been developed and implemented in the InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun in Topwin Center for guests to visit and experience.

The program has gone beyond merely adopting a leading AI technology in the industry. It has carried out an AI hospitality solution program before any other international hotel group in the nation. Aimed at functions including smart home, voice service and life housekeeper, it will offer guests a wonderfully rich experience while they stay in the hotel.

Aside from the guestrooms initially used to roll out the new program in the InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun, the program is set to be carried out in a total of 100 suites in 40 InterContinental hotels and resorts in China. The launch of the smart guestroom is an effort to create and develop a well-rounded and fully-featured intelligent home with the use of the Raven H to create future lifestyle experiences through joint exploration.

In the AI-equipped rooms, guests are able to switch from one environment to the next in a more streamlined way. Instead of controlling the aspects of the room such as the curtains, lighting and TV separately through voice activation, the guest can ask Raven H to change all the settings with a few simple words. If the guest says, "I have to work," Raven H will turn up the lights, switch off the TV and draw the curtains, creating a full room experience. In addition, there are other modes such as sleep mode, romantic mode and even a shower and bath mode that can be used in the bathroom as well. Vice President of Brand Management and Marketing, Greater China region for InterContinental Hotel Group Wang Lin said, "IHG always strives to pioneer the hotel industry's renovation in technology, service and hardware facilities."

Wang that they believe that there are two directions for hotel industry development in the future. One is providing the best humane and cultural experience, and the other is a more intelligent and technological experience in the hotel.

"We are honored to partner with Baidu to build the first AI hotel solution in our country and launch such services on the executive floor of the InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun," Wang said.

"Through the strategic cooperation with Baidu, we'll continuously lead the industrial innovation in years to come and improve the hotel services using AI technology and other new-generation technologies and optimaize the guests living experience in the hotel in a revolutionary way," she said.

In addition, based on DuerOS' powerful AI software platform, Raven H is able to instantly use Baidu's search engine for surrounding information such as advice for local services and weather and traffic information. When a guest is looking for dining advice, Raven H will recommend the top three restaurants according to the guest's desires.

Meanwhile, the solution system also customizes smart housekeeper services for the hotel industry, through which the guests can call for room service, concierge service and food delivery through voice interactions. It would enrich and upgrade the travelers' experiences as a whole.

Lü Cheng from Baidu, who is responsible for the intelligent hardware division, noted, "We are pleased to announce our exclusive strategic cooperation with IHG in the industrial launch of an AI technological living experience. We will land Baidu's AI technology and hardware and software experience in IHG's InterContinental hotels and resorts, and achieve the best possible smart hotel living experience together. We will use the hotel as a window to allow more people to experience the revolutionary changes in travel brought by AI."

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