Face scans for check-in, robots as waiters: Alibaba opens ‘future hotel’ in China

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    Face scans for check-in, robots as waiters Alibaba opens 'future hotel' in China

    It claims to be a hotel like no other in the world and one look at the waiters here would show just why. Chinese internet giant Alibaba has dived into the world of hospitality by opening what it claims to be a ‘future hotel’ with features unseen so far in the industry.

    According to state media reports, the FlyZoo Hotel in Hangzhou welcomes guests with a face-recognition module as part of the check-in process. Once settled in their rooms, the guests can reportedly control features like lights, television and curtains using Alibaba’s voice-activated digital assistant. The company claims that the entire process would save time and help improve the quality of services provided. Therefore, the company has also deployed robot waiters at the restaurants inside the hotel which have been programmed to serve a wide array of dishes and beverages. The robots are also reportedly tasked with guiding guests and answering queries they may have.

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    The entire operation is handled by an AI management system called Tmall Genie while the robots have been developed by Alibaba’s A.I. Labs.

    While this is not the first time that servicing a hotel is being done through robots, it is the first time that it has been undertaken at such a scale. According to company officials, extensive testing was done to ensure smooth operations and one that is fully protected from vulnerabilities and cyber attacks. Some though are questioning the morality of the move considering that it is a sign robots are replacing humans.