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Whether it's checking in, delivering food, or dropping off room service, all the jobs at this hotel are being provided by robots and face-scanning computers. I'm Reuters's Cate Cadell, and I'm here in Hangzhou, China. Behind me is the country's first future hotel. It's by Internet giant Alibaba. And the company says, they wanna drastically cut the cost of human labor using robots and face scanning.
The idea is that if guess don't wanna interact with another human they don't have to. So, I've checked in now. They've collected my facial information and given me back the room number. Now, I'm gonna go and see if I can get into my room using just my face.
Compared to the rest of the world, the Chinese public is a lot more comfortable with this kind of technology which perhaps elsewhere might seem a little bit invasive. Part of the reason is just that technology has developed really, really quickly here and Chinese people are seeing the benefit of that.
But the other half of it is that the Chinese government itself is using a lot of this very similar technology to build surveillance systems. And so this thing is very much more obvious in Chinese society here, and perhaps a lot more normal to people. So it's a moment of truth, we're here at the door, and the idea is that I should be able to step up.
And, the door will scan my face and open automatically without me using a key card. So let's give it a go. We can see it's turned green.
For me definitely the most interesting thing just walking around the hotel is the huge amount of empty space. This hotel just feels like it has less people. There's definitely this kind of eerie backdrop where we're sort of sharing the hallways with robots.>>
> So the commands with Alibaba's speaker seem to work fairly well.
In terms of the commands we've been able to open and close the curtains. We've been able to open and close the lights. We've been able to order room service, and that all seems to work fairly well. Bookings opened just last month, and it's already attracted a lot of attention online.
Many people are coming for a peek at what the future hotel is like, and rooms start from roughly $205 a night. And this might just be the beginning for hotels like this. Alibaba says the service spots and other AI tech will eventually be sold to other businesses.