Hotel Workers Fret Over a New Rival: Alexa at the Front Desk

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How many jobs will technology take out? Hoteliers have yet to figure out how guests will react to a more tech-heavy experience. A Marriott spokeswoman said in a statement that the chain was not deploying technology to eliminate jobs but was “personalizing the guest experience and enhancing the stay.”

Cliff Atkinson, senior vice president for hospitality at MGM Resorts, said new technologies had changed job descriptions at properties across his chain but had not eliminated jobs. Front-desk clerks displaced by automated check-in kiosks are deployed as “lobby ambassadors” or concierges.

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The man who was fired by a machine

Ibrahim Diallo

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“It wasn’t the first time my key card failed, I assumed it was time to replace it.”

So began a sequence of events that saw Ibrahim Diallo fired from his job, not by his manager but by a machine.

He has detailed his story in a blogpost which he hopes will serve as a warning to firms about relying too much on automation.