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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2021

Dimitrios Buhalis and Iuliia Moldavska

Voice assistants (VAs) empower human–computer interactions by recognising human speech and implementing commands pronounced by users. This paper aims to investigate VA-enabled…

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Abstract

Purpose

Voice assistants (VAs) empower human–computer interactions by recognising human speech and implementing commands pronounced by users. This paper aims to investigate VA-enabled interactions between hotels and guests in the hospitality context. The research positions VAs within the artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) context, disrupting old practices and processes. Smart hospitality uses VAs to support effortless value cocreation for guests cost-effectively. The research examines consumer perceptions and expectations of hospitality VAs and explores VA capabilities through expert technology providers.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical paper investigates the current use and future implications of VAs for hotel environments. It uses qualitative, semi-structured in-depth interviews with 7 expert hospitality VA technology providers and 21 hotel guests who have VA experience. The research adopts a demand and supply approach, addressing the VAs in hospitality holistically.

Findings

The findings illustrate the requirements from both end-users’ sides, hotels and guests, exploring VA advantages and challenges. The analysis demonstrates that VAs increasingly become digital assistants. VA technology helps hotels to improve customer service, expand operational capability and reduce costs. Although in its infancy, VA technology has made progress towards optimising hotel operations and upgrading customer service. The study proposes a speech-enabled interactions model.

Research limitations/implications

This research stimulates the transformation of hospitality services by using VAs and the development of smart hospitality and tourism ecosystems. The study can benefit from further research with hotel managers, to reflect hoteliers’ points of view and investigate their perception of VAs. Further research can also explore different aspects of consumer–VA interaction in different contexts.

Practical implications

The paper makes a significant contribution to hospitality management and human–computer interaction best practices. It supports technology providers to reconsider how to develop suitable technology solutions towards improving their strategic competitiveness. It also explains how to use VAs cost-effectively and profitably while adding value to travellers’ experience.

Originality/value

VA studies are often focussed on the technology in private households, rather than in commercial or hotel spaces. This paper contributes to the emerging literature on AI and IoT in smart hospitality and explores the acceptance and operationalisation of VAs. The research contributes to the conceptualisation of VA-enabled hotel services and explores positive and negative features, as well as future prospects.

研究目的

语音(数码, 虚拟或者人工智能)(VAs) 助理能够识别真人声音和系统指令声音从而为人机互动提供助力。 本研究基于酒店业已有的案例探索了酒店和客人语言支持的互动的本质。本研究探索了关于客房服务的表现和实用性的顾客认知和顾客期望。

研究设计/方法/途径

本研究借用了定性半结构化深入访谈来收集一手数据, 调查了酒店环境中的语音助理目前的运用情况和未来影响。本研究访谈了7位酒店科技服务提供者和21位有使用个人智能扬声器经验的酒店客人。本研究以供需模型来全方位解决此项问题。

研究发现

研究结论强调了从双方使用者(酒店和客人)角度考量, 并且考虑到语音仪器带来的所有的优势和挑战的重要性。基于顾客之前对这些仪器的使用经验, 本论文深入阐述了对公共空间这些语音助理的使用功能。本分析证明了由AI技术支持下, VAs 可以灵活的识别语音。VAs理解词汇内容并且也懂得词汇作为数据助手来支持智能家庭的自动化以及履行商业职责背后的意义来。酒店从业人员可以尝试运用此科技来提高用户体验, 扩展运营空间和减少成本。从访谈的数据可以证明, 尽管还在初级阶段, VAs 科技已经对酒店运营优化和晋级客户服务做出了显著的贡献和成就。本研究提出了一项介于酒店和客人之间的VA 语言支持的互动模型。

研究原创性/价值

之前的研究主要针对私人使用, 而不是商业或者酒店空间。考虑到敌对环境和客人和酒店的文化差异, 旅游和酒店成为了尤其有挑战性的领域。本研究通过语音识别革新了酒店服务。本研究针对VAs接受程度和运用进行详细研究从而为酒店领域的AI和IoT提供了专业文献。本文为酒店服务中的VAs使用做出了开拓性的调查并且探讨了正面以及负面的特征和未来展望。

研究局限/意义

本研究为酒店和旅游管理补充了文献, 尤其是在酒店业人机互动领域。本研究通过语音识别技术对酒店服务的转型革新做出贡献。此项研究可以受益于以酒店管理者为视角的进一步研究。相比于收集科技设备供应方的见解, 对酒店管理者进行访谈可以提供更直接的信息来了解酒店员工对数码语音助理和对语音科技的总体接受程度。

实践意义

酒店经常寻求途径来提高和客户的互动。本论文对酒店管理和人机互动领域提供了应用典例。本研究提供了酒店客人针对语音设备功能性的总体评价作为有价值的信息, 进而帮助科技提供者来重新审视针对顾客需要从而量身定制服务的策略和方式。最终, 本研究在提高行业战略竞争力层面分享了关于发展和采用此项强大有力科技的见解。

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-9880

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