The rapid adoption of powerful new Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT is creating a lot of hype, but some tech-driven companies are holding off jumping on the bandwagon until they can be more confident that any existing bugs and risks are addressed. solved .
One such company is hospitality giant Choice Hotels, which has been using artificial intelligence and machine learning in its operations for years and has a history of not being afraid to be an early adopter.
Choice, which owns over a dozen brands with more than 7,100 locations worldwide, has many firsts to its credit.
Founded in 1941, the company was the first hotel chain in the nation, the first to offer free 24-hour telephone reservations, the first to launch a global reservations and marketing system, and the first to have a hotel website with rates real-time and availability information.
|INTERNATIONAL CHOICE HOTELS
It was the first to develop a cloud-based property management system, developed the first hotel app for iOS, and was the first hotel company to offer instant booking on TripAdvisor.
Choice was also the first to have a cloud-based reservation system and the first hotel company to go “all in” on Amazon Web Services.
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Choice uses AI for all kinds of applications across its business, from predicting booking patterns, peaks and cancellations; help landlords and developers identify new places to build; and provide affiliates with artificial intelligence tools to manage real estate operations and revenue.
However, while the company is taking a close look at GenAI tools, it’s not quite ready to pull the trigger to integrate them into its systems, at least for now.
Brian Kirkland, chief information officer at Choice Hotels, says GenAI is a “lightning rod” that has the potential to change consumer decision-making. He acknowledged the media attention the technology has garnered and the fact that ordinary people are trying it out and exploring its capabilities before telling FOX Business, “What we’re realizing is that systems are very early” and “the technology is not ready yet.”
Kirkland pointed out several problems with Gen-AI tools, noting that systems responses can be inaccurate, often hallucinatory, and there are risks associated with intellectual property protection.
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“We’re being cautious,” he said, but “we’re invested in paying attention to it because when it solves some of these problems — when you can take the power of generative AI and plug it into a curated set of data… and you can also merge it with private datasets that you don’t want to expose to the wider community, but do want to exploit within that power — you’ll have a great opportunity to leapfrog.”
The CIO expects GenAI to ultimately change the way guests plan their trip, provide opportunities in myriad ways to interact, and even solve problems like fraud analysis.
Kirkland says there are all kinds of things Choice will be able to do with the power of GenAI “when it matures a little more than where it is today.”
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“We’re actively monitoring it, and in our world, that involves exploring with it,” he said. “But it’s not yet ready for commercial use with consumers.”
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