back to article IBM pimps Watson out to Hilton robot for concierge duty

Big Blue is making another effort to make a business case for the Watson deep learning system, this time by porting it to a robot concierge in the Hilton McLean in Virginia. The robot, dubbed Connie after the Hilton founder, is an off-the-shelf Nao machine from French manufacturer Aldebaran Robotics, linked wirelessly to …

  1. Peter Simpson 1

    The Robot

    dubbed Connie after the Hilton founder...

    Better choice than "Paris"...

    // the leather flying jacket, please

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The Robot

      If you are going to go after the Paris angle, why not use the Paris icon?

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Maybe it would be best put to work watching the PoS terminals for signs of infection.

  3. Ian Michael Gumby


    So what you're really saying is that Watson is a solution still looking for a problem and so far it hasn't found many areas of interest.

    The whole idea of a concierge could be done via an iPhone app.

    Hotel apps already have keyless entry to your hotel room that supports RFID cards and not mag stripe cards. They also have maps of the hotel property.

    Then they have links to uber and local eateries.

    In short, there isn't much of a need for an AI when it comes to being a concierge.

    Is this article a comment on how desperate is IBM is... or how limited Watson really is?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Meh...

      It sounds like IoT for hotels....

  4. Efros


    Looks nothing like an ED 209!

    1. skeptical i
      Thumb Up

      Re: Phew

      "You must provide a valid credit card to check in. You have twenty seconds to comply."

      Oh, wait, this is the hoity-toity for Hilton model, innit.

      "You must provide a valid credit card to check in. You have twenty seconds to comply. Sir."

  5. Snowy Silver badge

    I think a better name would have been Nick Nack, about the right size too.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Another 'so-what' announcement from IBM with a ton of flare. IBM needs to worry less about finding these weird one off Watson use cases, which may not work anyway, and more about finding an IT system or solution these can sell to thousands of businesses. It seems like they are getting more esoteric every year.

  7. Captain DaFt

    I can't believe it's not been posted yet.

    "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the lobby. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."

  8. thomas k

    Test it at our property, please.

    Maybe add some lasers, too?

  9. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "deeper guest angagement"

    Is it just me or does that sound a bit, I dunno, kinky?

    @Crazy Operations Guy: if you read this, any suggestions for modding the robot to make the stay at the Hilton* more, uh, pleasureable?

    * Didn't they once use the slogan 'It happens at the Hilton' once? I think I've still got a postcard from the Berlin Hilton with that on it somewhere.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: "deeper guest angagement"

      "Engagement", damn it! Where is the spell chequer when you need it? Slightly OCD, me? You straighten your tie before you talk to me like that!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PR bullshit

    " an experience that's particularly powerful in a hospitality setting, where it can lead to deeper guest engagement"

    What the fuck does that even mean

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Re: PR bullshit

      It means you're not expecting a robot when you check into a hotel, so you crap yourself when it starts moving towards you.

    2. CCCP

      Re: PR bullshit

      Well said. This is what spews out when PR drones go inside out, i.e. the internal jargon/bullshit makes it outside.

      experience = visit

      hospitality = hotel

      setting = hotel

      deeper guest engagement = profit

      So, "visits to hotels with this robot can lead to more profit". Which is still bullshit, 'cause it won't.

  11. sgp

    "...and many more robot hotels of a similar kind are going to be built once the bugs have been worked out."

    The bed bugs?

  12. Wim Ton

    Sounds like the fate of poor Marvin; a brain that can beat any human at chess, go and Jeopardy and work as a hotel concierge.

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