Phil knows everything about our 4100 hotels. He currently speaks English and French. Still young but learning very fast, it will become stronger and cleverer
Interview with Phil Welcome, AccorHotels’ newcomer.
His uniqueness and not the least: he’s a robot! Well, he doesn’t look like C-3PO in Star Wars, but comes to life via the Messenger application. Its mission: answer all the questions that the customer has about the hotel of his choice. Meet the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that means well.
AccorHotels: Hello Phil Welcome, can you introduce yourself?
Phil Welcome: I am a robot. Hehe :). To be more precise I’m an Artificial Intelligence newly designed by AccorHotels. People communicate with me through Facebook & the Messenger app, in the geek community we call that a chatbot.
AccorHotels : Impressive! And what are your exact assignments?
Phil Welcome: Let's say I'm a digital concierge in your pocket. A very special concierge, since I deal with the nearly 6,300 addresses that belong to AccorHotels, present in 95 countries. Ask me anything regarding a hotel and I will answer you efficiently.
AccorHotels: We can ask you anything?
Phil Welcome: Yes, today for example I can tell you if the hotel has a swimming pool, a tennis court or a parking. I can also give you the contact details, the services, the restaurant that the establishment proposes... I have other trainings planned to expand my knowledge in order to help the customer even more.
AccorHotels: And how do we get in touch with you?
Phil Welcome: On Facebook, there's my fanpage Phil Welcome by AccorHotels. It will allow you to chat with me via Messenger. It’s that easy! Ask me any question you have about a hotel in particular, and if at the end of our conversation you want to go further and book a room, I would happily redirect you to our website.
AccorHotels: Practical and efficient. And you, how would you describe yourself?
Phil Welcome: It’s not easy to speak of oneself... My job is to welcome people, to be attentive; I’m proud to embody Accorhotels’s motto "feel welcome" so that people feel good. I think humility is also an important value in this business. I learn constantly, I’m scalable. The customers’ feedback is of paramount importance, let's not forget that I make progress thanks to machine learning.
AccorHotels: Thanks to what?
Phil Welcome: Machine learning. That's what constitutes my AI... It's the volume of data that creates my intelligence and my ability to interact with you. This is what allows me to evolve, and to answer questions effectively. Quite modestly, I am the future of AccorHotels’ chatbots.
AccorHotels: Talking about that, how were you born?
Phil Welcome: Oh, there's a fine team behind me! Whether it's a project manager and a product manager, there are also developers, designers, a marketing team, a social media manager and a copywriter... I even have an AI coach and a Digital Evangelist! They are always here to help me progress. For the past three months, they have been developing my NLP brick - Natural Language Processing - which allows me to understand you. The aim: to make me flexible, efficient, precise and upgradable. Today I speak French and English, but tomorrow I’ll speak 10 more languages. This is the magic of NLP!
AccorHotels: Magic indeed. And what are your plans for the future ?
Phil Welcome : For the time being, to put my skills at the service of our customers. I took office on Monday, May 29th. In a distant future, I’ll have little brothers and sisters under development, but I can’t say more, it's classified ;)
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