2019 in Review: Google
Welcome to Digital., your weekly recap of the best travel news of the week: day in, day out.
Everything you need to know about hotel distribution, digital economy, travel, tourism, hospitality, startups, market stocks, reports, staff movements, industry events, innovation, and more.
Hosted by best-selling author, journalist, futurist, founder of Travel Singularity, toy collector and retired punk rocker, Simone Puorto.
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Digital. is a show by Simone Puorto, founder of the consulting firmTravel Singularity, former hotel General Manager, consultant, author of three best-selling books on hotel marketing, MBA lecturer, and contributor for the major blogs in the industry.
Over his career, spanning across over 20 years, he consulted for international hotel groups such as Divani Hotels Collection, Library Hotels Collection, and Louis Group (LUI), helped to consolidate the second-largest Italian hotels’ chain, and he advised for several travel tech start-ups.
15 years ago, the seminal book titled The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by futurist Ray Kurzweil was published, covering topics such as biology, AI, nanotechnology, and transhumanism. The term Singularity has been coined in the ’80s, and it refers to a point in time where “we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence”, as writer Vernor Vinge puts it. Its manifestations can be found both in common objects such as your phone or your washing machine, and controversial topics such as cyborgs rights or AI ethics. Kurzweil predicted the Singularity to occur in 2045: in that year “the nonbiological intelligence created will be 1 billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today”
On Post-Human Hospitality.
The process is irreversible, and regarding it as utopian or dystopian is totally up to us, because human feelings toward Singularity are ambivalent, and change considerably based on its applications. In the medical field, Singularity is unanimously welcomed as a blessing: it helps doctors diagnosing with higher accuracy, it monitors glucose levels and secretes insulin to diabetic patients, and it increases precision during complex surgery procedures. However, when it comes to Hospitality, any allusion to Singularity is perceived as heresy. This double standard is the main reason why Travel Singularity firm was founded: to help hoteliers understanding and exploiting abstruse concepts such as AGI, ASI, ABS, blockchain distribution, AR/VR, or IoT. These are the foundation of a new, post-human industry, where hoteliers, finally freed from hyper-complicated, unscalable tasks, will be able to return to the essence of their profession: caring about guests. It’s evolutionary: every technology that simplifies humans’ lives will, eventually, be mass-adopted, and the life of hoteliers, today, is far from simple.
Simone Puorto is a travel tech consultant and journalist with over 20 years of experience in the Industry. Lecturer for business schools such as ESSEC, Les Roches, ESG, Hotel Business School by Forte Village and LUISS, published author, public speaker, panel moderator, Board Member for BWG Strategy and author for PhocusWire, HOTELSMag, HotelMarketing.com, HospitalityNet, HotelOnline and many more. Former hotel General Manager, he has worked with hundreds of hotels, web agencies, startups and travel tech providers worldwide.
Our belief is that hospitality is not complicated or, at least, it does not necessarily have to be. We actively support cooperation between humans and robots, and advocate for an open, collaborative, hyper-connected industry, where humans can flourish and innovate, free from the repetitive tasks they are now obliged to perform daily. It’s not Artificial Intelligence vs. Human Intelligence, rather Artificial Intelligence + Human Intelligence.