Collection on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics in Tourism.

Professor Iis Tussyadiah, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Professor Iis Tussyadiah is curating the Collection on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics in Tourism, which contains articles on AI, robotics, and automation published in Annals of Tourism Research, a top-ranked journal in the field. In a review article accompanying the launch of the Collection, Iis discusses the need to prepare the travel and tourism industry for a more automated future and proposes four priorities for further research in the area: designing beneficial AI, facilitating adoption of intelligent automation in the sector, fully assessing the impacts of intelligent automation, and creating a sustainable future with AI.

The Collection also features a two-stage study on trust as a factor of consumer acceptance of service robots in travel and tourism. With her international collaborators, Iis examines what makes consumers trust service robots in two use cases: on-demand self-driving taxi (transportation) and robotic bartender (hospitality). The study shows how negative sentiments around AI permeating society cast a negative influence on consumer acceptance of novel technologies. In addition, language used in communication about technological innovation plays a significant role in shaping consumer perception, trust, and acceptance of AI and robots. 

Another study in the Collection, conducted in collaboration with Professor Graham Miller, explores how hotels can use robots to nudge tourists to be more responsible. The study tests whether guests will respond differently to an in-room companion robot versus a pervasive virtual assistant, like Alexa, programmed to give feedback on water and energy consumption. They find that the presence of another agent in the room, even when invisible, is enough to induce normative behaviour. This shows how emerging technologies can be leveraged to foster sustainability.

Iis’ vision is for the Collection to encourage further research and facilitate a systematic knowledge production that reflects a concerted effort from the scientific community to ensuring beneficial applications of AI and robotics in travel and tourism.

A YouTube video about Iis’ work can be found here.

Professor Iis Tussyadiah, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.