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Artificial intelligence (AI) will take center stage – literally – on October 1, the opening day of the Global Tourism Summit, and leading the way will be Sophia the Robot, the most advanced humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics (www.hansonrobotics.com).

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the Global Tourism Summit begins next Monday and continues through Wednesday, October 1-3, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. The summit theme is Charting the Course, with part of its focus looking at the growing significance of AI in tourism’s future.

George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, said, “Sophia is an amazing ambassador of artificial intelligence and we are thrilled to showcase her personality, sense of humor and ability to converse with people. Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit will find the interaction between Sophia and Kainoa Daines of the Oahu Visitors Bureau at the opening day lunch to be fun, fascinating and illuminating as to the potential of AI.”

Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ most advanced human-like robot, created by combining breakthrough innovations in robotics, AI, and artistry. She is endowed with remarkable expressiveness, aesthetics and interactivity, and can simulate a full range of facial expressions, track and recognize faces, and hold natural conversations with people.

Sophia has become a much-sought-after media personality, advocating for AI research and the role of robotics and AI in people’s lives. She has appeared on CBS 60 Minutes with Charlie Rose, the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning Britain, and been a keynote speaker and panel member at some of the world’s most prestigious conferences. She has also addressed members of the UN, ITU, and NATO.

Sophia is a vessel for AI research and development. Working with labs, universities, and companies around the world, Sophia donates her body, brain and AI to help advance AI research and development for a benevolent future.

Sophia has also received the title of Innovation Champion for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to promote sustainable development with the use of technology and innovation in developing countries. She was also named the 2018 Gold Edison AwardTM winner in Robotics.

For more information on Sophia the Robot, check out www.hansonrobotics.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @RealSophiaRobot.

Following are descriptions of the sessions addressing AI at the Global Tourism Summit. The public is encouraged to register for the summit (www.globaltourismsummithawaii.com), participate in the sessions, and see the ever-increasing role that AI is having within the tourism industry.

Charting the Course for Technology: Talk Story with Sophia the Robot, October 1, 12:00 p.m.
From Siri to Alexa and beyond, the world of AI and robotics is evolving continuously, bringing advancements to our lives. How can such innovations be integrated into your world and affect change and growth within the travel and tourism industry in the near future? Join Oahu Visitors Bureau’s Kainoa Daines and Sophia the Robot, of Hanson Robotics, and discover how in this exciting and entertaining session. Gain a better understanding and identify opportunities for AI and robotics. A brief Q&A will follow with Sophia herself. We hope to see you there!

Japan Summit Keynote Speech #2: A New Generation of Tourism Marketing / Creative Deconstruction of the Travel Trade Industry Starting from Hawaii, October 2, @10:00 a.m.
Traditional travel trade business models which simply pursue economic benefits are requiring essential revisions in models as rapid developments in AI and the sharing economy are spurred. In an industry where duties performed by humans are being replaced by machines, a tourism producer discusses values which should be realized within the travel trade industry from a unique perspective.

(Note: This presentation is expected to begin at approximately 10:00 a.m. Preceding it will be a presentation, titled, Travel for the Brand New Style! Both presentations will be made in Japanese, but translated simultaneously for English-speaking guests to understand. Seating is limited.)

Revolutionizing the Travel Industry Through Artificial Intelligence, October 2, 4:05 p.m.
From chatboxes to dynamic pricing to virtual assistants, AI has transformed the hospitality industry. Discover how travel and tourism businesses are using AI and its future applications.

Registration to Close for the Global Tourism Summit on September 25
During the three days of the summit, other thought-provoking sessions, presentations and panel discussions will address the need to strive for sustainable tourism, trends in the global travel marketplace, the significance of culture in marketing tourism, and global marketing programs promoting travel to the Hawaiian Islands in 2019.

Special events at the summit include the Luncheon featuring Talk Story with Sophia the Robot, as well as the Networking Reception on October 1, the Aloha Reception – with cuisine provided by 20 restaurants – on October 2, and the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch on October 3, all of which are included in the full summit registration, or when registering for those days.

Registration for the Global Tourism Summit is closing on Tuesday, September 25, at 11:55 p.m. Participants can register online via the dedicated website, www.globaltourismsummithawaii.com, and choose from one of several options below that features savings for groups, students and faculty.

Individuals: Full Summit Registration, October 1-3: $425

Group Package (Minimum of 8 people): Full Summit Registration, October 1-3: $2,600 total, a savings of $100 per person. Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference.

Students and Faculty Members: Full Summit Registration, October 1-3: $150

Students: 1-Day Summit Registration, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday: $50

Individuals: 2-Day Summit Registration, October 1-2: $315 (Includes attendance to the Luncheon featuring Talk Story with Sophia the Robot, as well as the Networking Reception on October 1, and the Aloha Reception on October 2)

Individuals: 2-Day Summit Registration, October 2-3: $295 (Includes attendance to the Aloha Reception on October 2 and Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch on October 3)