Alibaba opens AI ‘future hotel’

admin   •   December 26, 2018   •   25620

Interior of Alibaba’s AI ‘future hotel’ and a robot | REUTERS

Chinese internet giant Alibaba has opened a hotel loaded with artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, automating a series of procedures like check-in, lights control and room service.

FlyZoo Hotel, opened in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, where Alibaba is headquartered, is known as the company’s first “future hotel”.

Customers can check into the hotel by simply scanning their faces. The facial recognition system installed in the hotel also enables customers to use their faces as key cards to open doors and access other hotel services.

Users can also control the lights, television and curtains in the room via Alibaba’s voice-activated digital assistant, while robots are deployed to serve dishes, cocktails and coffee.

Hotel bookings and check-out can also be done with a few clicks on mobile through an app. The hotel is the latest example of Chinese techcompanies’ foray into traditional industries such as the hospitality sector.

“We don’t have to waste our time on registering and waiting in lines. Many services like check in can be done with a smartphone. Secondly, I feel more safe with the help of this technology and these smart facilities,” said Sam Wang, a customer.

Some people may concern that these robots may put the human hotel staff out of a job.

“I’m not worried about being replaced by robots, because machines and robots can only do some simple works at this hotel. It is the human employees that can provide better services. The robots can save us a lot of time so that we can better serve our customers,” said Sun Xiaoting, an employee of FlyZoo Hotel.

Many customers said technology is making hotels more convenient and upgrading their services. But others said information safety and privacy are major concerns.

Many hotels across the world are now teaming with tech companies to upgrade their facilities with AI and Internet of Things technologies. FlyZoo Hotel’s CEO Wang Qun said safety and service will always be their top priority.

“So we are already concerning about this kind of issue. First of all, we will completely comply with the local government policies and local laws. Secondly with our system capabilities, because you know all our systems are cloud based, we have more and more strong capabilities to protect those data and privacies from our individual guests,” said Wang.

Wang said the FlyZoo Hotel is 1.5 times more efficient than its competitors. — Reuters

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11 Pinoy seafarers na ilang buwang stranded sa barko sa China, nakabalik na sa bansa

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Matapos ang halos pitong buwan ay nakauwi na sa bansa ang 11 Pilipinong marinong stranded sa sinasakyang barko sa China dahil sa pagsasara ng mga border sa iba’t ibang bansa sa gitna ng pandemiya.

Martes ng madaling araw nang dumating sa bansa ang grupo at pansamantalang mamamalagi sa isang quarantine facility sa Pasay City upang hintayin ang resulta ng swab test na isinagawa sa paliparan.

Ayon kay Anthony Medina, labis ang kagalakan niya at ng kanyang mga kasamahan dahil sa wakas ay nakauwi na sila at muli nang makakapiling ang kani-kanilang pamilya.

“Sobrang saya po namin talagang halos gusto namin na mauna pa kami sa eroplano makalapag eh. Makikita na po namin ang mga mahal namin sa buhay,” ang wika ni Medina.

Nagpasalamat din ang kapatid ni Anthony na si Analiza Medina sa lahat ng mga tumulong upang makauwi ang mga tripulante.

“Para po kaming nanghihina na parang wala ng mag rerescue sa kanila. Kaya po talagang sobrang saya namin na nakauwi na sila. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa lahat ng tumulong at sa mga hindi po nagsawa na tulungan sila,” ang pahayag ni Analiza.

Bago umuwi sa kani-kanilang pamilya, kailangan munang asikasuhan ng mga marino ang ilang mga bagay sa kanilang agency.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration na bibigyan ng ayuda ang mga umuwing seafarer. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

DFA finalizes repatriation for 11 stranded Filipino seafarers onboard Ocean Star 86

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.

The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.

“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Fresh PHL protest vs China won’t affect diplomatic ties – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The fresh diplomatic protest filed by the Philippines against China over its coast guard’s “illegal confiscation” of fish aggregating devices installed by Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc will not affect the friendship between the two countries, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said lodging of protests over acts deemed violative of the country’s sovereign rights is part of the job of Philippine diplomats.

“‘Yang mga protests naman ginagawa talaga yan ng ating mga diplomats kung meron sa tingin natin na lalalabag sa ating soberenya o doon sa ating tinatawag natin sovereign rights,” he said.

“Pero hindi naman po makakaapekto doon sa kabuuan ng ating matalik na pagsasamahan sa panig ng bansa natin at ng bansang Tsina,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said it has lodged a diplomatic protest against China over the incident that took place in May.

Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal is a vital spawning ground for fish that lies over 100 nautical miles from the coast of Masinloc, Zambales.

It is among the areas in the South China Sea being claimed by China, including waters within the exclusive economic zones of Malaysia, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hage rules that under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, the Bajo de Masinloc is a common fishing ground and that China’s claims over the strategic body of water is not valid. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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