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Slick Talk: The Hospitality Podcast

Jumping Into AI & ChatGPT with Jesse DePinto, CEO of Frontdesk

Wed May 10 2023

Local bot on Slack channels provides chat GPT based response and recommendation for customer service inquiries

00:00 - 06:53

  • Chat GPT gives better recommendations than locals for local recommendations
  • Minute offers features beyond noise monitoring, including security features like motion detection and window break detection, alarm recognition, crowd detection, and weatherproof sensors
  • Minute will soon be able to detect unauthorized smoking
  • Jesse DePinto discusses the transformative potential of AI in the hospitality industry
  • AI is a trend that is coming faster than expected and must be embraced despite risks and issues

AI is a trend that's coming at all of us faster than anybody would like

06:24 - 12:35

  • The goal here is not net less jobs. The goal here is more time spent with the customer
  • AI is going to be the next skill, could be under the form of prompt engineering, it could be just being comfortable using some of these tools works, but it's a new skill set
  • Top performers are going to be able to exponentially do more
  • Microsoft has a major role in AI and invests in open AI, the creator behind Chat GPT

Microsoft is investing in AI and has a major role in it

12:10 - 18:30

  • They have created copilot 360 for their Microsoft 360 product, which is an AI assistant that can help with any task at hand
  • It can analyze spreadsheets and get quick answers to large data problems in a low-code natural language format
  • It can record conversations, create action items, assign them to someone in the organization, and even create sales presentations within minutes of the meeting wrapping up
  • Co-pilot on top of Excel sifts through large data sets and gets you immediate answers
  • In Microsoft Word, it helps with writing tasks like making small sets larger or making large blocks shorter
  • This tool will give more power to creative types and customer-facing professionals who are not necessarily technical people
  • It feels like a low code revolution combined with an AI revolution that positively impacts people by serving customers better

AI is still in early development and there are many problems to work through

18:07 - 24:21

  • Venture capital investment is going towards AI startups, making it a huge land grab for tech startups
  • OpenAI has been launching new products and plugins at a rapid pace, with GPT-4 being the latest release
  • It's important to be ahead of the curve when it comes to AI development
  • Chat GPT can be used for productivity gains but should not be fully trusted. Responses can be set to be more creative or logical depending on the situation
  • There is a fine line between too much AI and too much human involvement in industries like hospitality
  • Lazy workers who just clock in and out are unlikely to use tools like Chat GPT to improve their productivity
  • Benchmarking productivity can help identify high performers

Lazy workers may use JetGPT to do their job and not tell anyone, but eventually the truth comes out

23:54 - 29:48

  • High-performance cultures tend to weed out low performers faster than they need to be shown the door
  • Automating oneself out of a job is not a concern if it meets customer goals
  • JetGPT could be used for complacency, but it's not what keeps the speaker up at night
  • During the pandemic, some engineers worked multiple jobs anonymously without employers knowing
  • Chat GPT can enhance customer service by providing instant 24/7 support and personalized recommendations for guests
  • Front Desk uses bots to send pre-programmed messages, but humans still manage guest experiences as virtual concierges behind the scenes
  • Front Desk has a local bot on Slack channels that provides chat GPT-based responses and recommendations for any question asked by guest experience reps

Guest experience reps can use a Slack channel to get GPT-based responses and recommendations

29:24 - 35:36

  • Chat GPT gives better recommendations than locals because it is more thoughtful and tourist-centric
  • Messaging platforms are working on context-rich answers that are in sync with your proprietary database in a brand-approved fashion
  • Draft inbox is the more likely answer for bots auto-responding until it's perfected
  • Ventory helps property managers scale and grow their business by adding more inventory into their rental program that drives the bottom line
  • protects homes from structural damage to content damage and bodily injury, ensuring you retain owners and inventory in your company
  • Gas Guru, Host AI, and Yada are new startups in the space worth exploring

There are many startups built on top of chat, GPT being birthed right now

35:09 - 41:16

  • Short-term rental industry is a good niche for any entrepreneur to launch an AI startup
  • The SaaS companies that already have a foothold in the short-term rental market will leverage AI as a way to upsell their existing customers
  • New opportunities will emerge that nobody had ever thought of before, creating personalized trip planners for every guest
  • Be cautious and stay at the forefront, but also choose your bets wisely for new operators in the space
  • It's always good to be skeptical about adding bells and whistles that don't need to be added and paying subscriptions that make no sense

AI is not infallible and can make mistakes or generate incorrect information

40:53 - 46:44

  • Users should always verify critical information and not solely rely on AI generated responses
  • Chat TPT can generate coherent and contextual relevant responses, but it does not truly understand the meaning behind the text
  • Its responses are based on patterns found in the data it was trained on
  • AI is used outside of Chat TPT, such as for voicing scripts based on a transcription or script
  • Streamlined communications can be achieved through automated responses, including internal messages that could be streamlined with a Wikibot tool to provide real source of truth answers
  • Reviewing reviews is important in short-term rental businesses to categorize guest feedback

Reviews data is a treasure trove of information that can be used to categorize and draw trend lines

46:29 - 52:46

  • GPT for Work is a plugin that sits inside Google Sheets and allows users to use ChatGPT inside a cell
  • is a tool that allows users to hook up a chatbot to their wiki, PDF or sheet and query it based on proprietary data
  • These tools are powerful when used with internal proprietary information
  • Zapier is a powerful tool for interfacing with ChatGPT and Chatterdocks
  • Expedia, Kayak, OpenTable are major players in the hospitality industry using ChatGPT plugins
  • Chatting BT can be used to search for hotels based on specific criteria such as location, amenities etc

Front Desk is a scaled national hospitality brand that focuses on short-term rental apartments in downtown metro areas

52:28 - 58:43

  • They serve 15,000 customers every year coming in and out of their doors when over 30 markets
  • They built a lot of their technology in-house, including the property management system and revenue management system
  • Front Desk closed their series B financing round last year with JetBlue Ventures as one of the investors on their cap table
  • The team continues to be on a tear here, watching the rebound of corporate travel and urban travel
  • There are some exciting announcements coming up in the next few months that can't be disclosed yet
  • Jesse believes that every struggle is an opportunity for growth and views adversity as potentially positive growth opportunities
  • He thinks AI will make the biggest impact on short-term rental or hospitality businesses