Robot staff and emoji menus: how hospitality went hi-tech

The Henn-na hotel’s guests are greeted by a robot dinosaur wearing a bow tie. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP Friendly greetings are part of the everyday vernacular of hotel lobbies across the world. Book to stay at the Henn-na in south-western Japan though and you’ll be greeted on arrival by an English-speaking dinosaur sporting a bow tie and bellhop hat. Reserve a room at the Hilton McLean hotel in Virginia and a robot named Connie will act as a member of the concierge, answering your questions regarding amenities and dining options. Hotels manned by artificial intelligence may sound like something that has leapt off the pages of a dystopian fiction novel, but the ability to augment tasks in the hospitality industry is growing. According to research by the holiday deal website Travelzoo,…

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