If you ever check into the Hilton McLean in Virginia, just know that the person welcoming you may not be a person at all.
The hotel’s newest concierge is Connie, a Nao robot with IBM’s Watson technology that was named for the chain’s founder Conrad Hilton. Though Connie can’t check guests into their rooms from its station next to the front desk -- not yet, at least -- it has the ability to answer questions about the hotel and offer recommendations for restaurants and points of interest. Connie also has the ability to learn because it can store inquiries for future reference.
Ars Technica reports that the 58-centimeter-tall android costs about $9,000. Since this is a pilot program for the hotel chain, there are no reports yet about guest reaction.
Connie is adorable, but not necessarily unique. The Aloft hotel in California has a robot butler, while the Henn-na Hotel in Japan has an entire staff of machines. While some of the workers look very much like humans, others have a more whimsical appearance, such as a dinosaur wearing a bowtie that speaks English.