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Thursday Buzz: Amazon’s Alexa Hits Vegas

By / Dec 15, 2016 (Handout photo)

The artificial intelligence technology, quickly becoming a hit in the home, scores its first major hotel deal. Also: Instagram hits a milestone.

Devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are quickly becoming household tools of choice, but could they make an imprint on the travel industry?

Turns out, they already are. This week, Wynn Las Vegas announced that it had made a deal with Amazon to equip all 4,748 of the hotel’s rooms with Alexa-enabled Echo devices, a significant coup for the tech giant, whose devices will now be directly associated with a luxury brand.

It’s not a bad deal for the hotel, either.

“In partnership with Amazon, becoming the first resort in the world in which guests can verbally control every aspect of lighting, temperature and the audio-visual components of a hotel room is yet another example of our leadership in the world of technology for the benefit of all of our guests,” Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn said in a statement reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The Review Journal notes that Wynn appears to be getting out in front of a major trend, one that could become a common amenity in hotels around the country—as well as a potential revenue source for those hotels as they dive into big data.

“If you have similar technologies at home and you don’t see it (in the hotel), it’s going to be some sort of a disappointment,” noted Mehmet Erdem, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor and the president of the International Hospitality Information Technology Association.

Infographic of the Day

Instagram Monthly Active Users

Instagram just topped a major barrier this week: The app has 600 million active users, double where the Facebook-owned social network was just two years ago. The platform is obviously still surging, but now’s a good time to look back. Check out the great infographic from TechCrunch, above, and read more about it at the news outlet.

1 billion accounts: In its second data-breach revelation in four months, Yahoo announced that a billion different accounts were affected by a major hack. Learn more about the incident over this way.

Bringing guest posters on board? Be sure to have some solid editorial guidelines in place. At Frank J. Kenny’s blog, Christina Green breaks down the guidelines you should use.

Chatbots’ uncanny valley: At Fast Company, Cliff Kuang makes the case that chatbots shouldn’t be too humanlike in operation.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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