Aiello, an AI Natural Language Understanding (NLU) tech startup, deployed its Multilingual Intelligent Voice Assistant in more than 5,000 rooms within a year. Regardless of the pandemic, Aiello’s innovation had won the hearts and minds of the hoteliers. Vic Shen, CEO of the company and ex-Googler, is here to share the journey with us.
How was your experience in Google helped start Aiello?
I oversaw Google Home, Google Assistant, and NLU technology when I was working at Google. Any software or hardware related to Google Assistant were under my supervision. At some point, I discovered NLU and NLP technologies application breakthrough in business industries and therefore started Aiello.
How can voice technology benefit the hospitality business?
Talking in general, voice assistant is the easiest and funniest way of interacting with technology. Due to the pandemic, providing a contactless service has become a top priority for hospitality businesses, and the application of voice technology in hotels has proven effective to enhance guest experience and staff performance. It also acts as a channel for hoteliers to better understand their guest.
What are the challenges faced by Aiello Intelligent Voice Assistant?
Language proficiency has been one of the biggest challenges. NLU and NLP technologies originate from English, so it has achieved 80% accuracy rates if used in a vertical application. However, it’s not the same for other languages. Training a new language model is complicated and time consuming, it literally took us 2 years to build up Chinese and Japanese language models to be integrated with our voice assistant.
How Covid-19 pandemic impact the hoteliers to reshape guest service with smart technology?
The hospitality and tourism sector has seen volatility since the virus started spreading worldwide, which accelerated business digital transformation drastically. From what we see, hoteliers are more willing to invest in technology that are needed to satisfy guests because travelers have become more tech-savvy than ever. People are used to talking to Siri / Google Assistant or other voice-activated device control.
What’s the common misconception about voice assistants that hoteliers perceive?
“We don’t want the technology to replace the human touch in our hotel.” Some hoteliers think voice assistant will make them less hospitable if they include it in their services, which is not true.
We found out most front desk clerks were busy answering frequent asked questions all day long. For instance, “Where’s the swimming pool?” “What time does the breakfast starts and ends?” “Are smoking rooms available?” and other queries that guest expect for immediate respond. However, it’s difficult to satisfy every customer with limited labor supply and most of the resource are swamped into the routine without creating too much value.
Our purpose is to achieve complete customer satisfaction by handling guest inquiries and request with the help of voice assistant. Allowing staff to focus on more important and human required duties. Smart technology is not replacing the human touch but leverages human capital and gives hotels a competitive advantage.
What kind of properties is the Intelligent Voice Assistant for?
We have deployed Aiello Assistant in more than 5000 rooms, close to 40 properties including luxury hotels, boutique hotels and even homestay owners. So, there isn’t any prerequisite for installing our solution because it is highly customised for the hospitality industry and can fit into any kind of property. What’s important though, is the openness of the hotel to innovation and new technologies. Owners and managers need to understand what our technology can do for them and their guests.
What’s the next step for Aiello?
Aiello’s growth prospects in a post pandemic world are very encouraging, especially focusing on several areas in the CANZUK area. “We welcome partners who share our values and vision, together bringing the best hospitality experience!” Today, nearly 800,000+ voice and text data in English, Chinese, and Japanese are being processed on Aiello’s platform every month, and a three-digit growth is expected in the next 3 years.
Looking forward to the tourism in a post-pandemic world? Learn more about Aiello Assistant click here.
Aiello Intelligent Voice Assistant was created out of a deep passion for NLU technologies. Through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we aim to create the most user-friendly and human-like consumer–to–device interaction experience. By bringing the most advanced technology into every commercial field, we ambition to shape voice-based lifestyles in the future.
Since 2018, Aiello has continuously won numerous awards in international competitions for AI business applications. Our outstanding products and a world-class team allow us to shine in the startup ecosystem. To learn more about Aiello Inc. (link to website)
Awards and Recognition
- 2021 London Hotel 360 Tech Product of the Year Award Winner
- 2020 Taiwan Tourism Innovation & Tech Awards 1st runner up
- 2019 Marriott International Global Startup Award Top 6
- 2019 CES Asia AI Innovation Awards Winner
- 2019 Sequoia Capital, Qualcomm and Cyzone Top 10 Most Company Growth