Telecom companies are using hotels as “test beds” for their artificial intelligence (AI) assisted services, to competitively offer convenient functions to guests.

SK Telecom said that it had installed its NUGU AI platform in 44 rooms of the Vista Walkerhill Hotel in eastern Seoul.

The nation’s top mobile carrier will install the platform in all rooms of the hotel within the third quarter.

The NUGU platform enables guests to control lighting, curtains and temperature through voice commands, the firm said.

Guests can also easily find checkout and breakfast times as well as other information about hotel facilities through voice commands.

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For example, when a guest asks, “Where do I get on a shuttle bus?” NUGU answers: “You can get on a shuttle bus at a station opposite the hotel. The bus operates every 10 minutes from 6 in the morning to 11.20 at night.”

Since the release of the NUGU platform in September 2016, the firm has released about 40 kinds of services using the platform.

“Applying the NUGU platform to the Vista Walkerhill Hotel is expected to become an opportunity to expand our AI services to business-to-business hotel service areas,” said Park Myung-soon, who leads SK Telecom’s AI business unit. “SK Telecom will open the source code of the AI platform so that anyone can easily understand and use it. We will lead the popularisation of AI.”

Last month, KT also opened a tech-centric hotel in central Seoul featuring its voice-recognition AI platform Giga Genie.

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The second largest mobile carrier said the Novotel Ambassador Hotel and Residence built at the site of its former Euljiro office in Jung-gu is the first-ever “AI hotel” in the nation.

The Giga Genie platform enables guests to control lighting and television as well as air conditioning and heating through voice commands or a touch screen display, the company said. Guests can also request amenities such as bath gels using the AI features.

The company said it is continuing to improve the AI features, noting that the upcoming services will allow guests to check out of the hotel from their room and order room service by voice commands.

The company added its AI hotel system is capable of recognising English, while Japanese and Chinese will be added to the system by as early as November to attract more foreign guests.

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This article was originally written by Jun Ji-hye for The Korea Times.