With the advance of artificial intelligence which has computerised much of the manual, repetitive work such as check-ins and tracking luggage in hotels, the introduction of the social robot into hotels is very likely.

Social Robots Replacing Staff?

Despite media depictions of robots mostly as children’s toys, perfect as a birthday gift, social robots have been updated to the extent that they can shift their facial expressions tailored to their customer. However, although they may provide for a natural source of amusement, they cannot be relied on indefinitely as a source of cost-effective management of a hotel’s finances.

Although definitely feasible, the modern social robot are much more suited as attractions, as an extra bonus to hotel services where customers can encounter new technologies without jeopardising their sense of apprehension and mistrust in the quality of the hotel’s services. The reason for this is simple; robots can never dream of responding directly to humans’ emotions and moods. In promoting a general atmosphere of amicability and public trust in a hotel, customers must have absolute confidence in not just their materialistic needs being met, (where almost every hotel ensures this), but also friendliness and a caring environment, similar to that of a community. Sure, robots may be pleasing in the short-term for new customers, but in a long-term perspective, while it may replace the duties of staff members to allow for seemingly cost-effective functioning of the hotel, it also implicates a much lower customer loyalty rate. Connections made between humans elicit much less monotonous handling of legal and financial aspects of one’s journey and does well to ensure that the hotel’s ambience is not frigid and apathetic.

Social robots can only garner interest for a short while, while human relationships last for much longer, and does not only entail information exchange and legal documentation but also an intimacy which allows visits to be much more impressionable and memorable.