Alexa for Hospitality
By now, we are all familiar with Alexa. We have learned how to use the AI assistant to play music, buy things, change the temperature, turn off the lights and many other things. This is just the beginning – now that 50 million Alexa devices are in U.S homes, Alexa is moving beyond the home. Yesterday, Amazon announced the launch of Alexa of Hospitality and a partnership Marriott to roll this technology out across the world. This essentially brings the concierge and front desk to your room. Alexa will be able to handle many tasks like bringing more towels, changing temperature/lighting, ordering food, checking out and many other things. I wonder what Alexa’s next frontier is? Watch Alexa for Hospitality in Action
McKinsey Five Fifty
McKinsey periodically releases what they call the “McKinsey Quarterly Five Fifty”. These are insightful and interactive briefings designed to allow the reader to spend five minutes on a topic or to click in to dive deeper and spend fifty minutes on a subject matter. I received one yesterday entitled “Lights Out”, which discusses industrial robotics and automation – an important piece of the technology revolution. Below is a chart from this informative piece. As you can see, labor costs and automation costs are moving in opposite directions. Are we reaching an inflection point in industrial automation? Where will all the displaced humans work? Click Here to Access "Lights Out"
Goodbye General Electric
Today, GE was evicted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE was once the world’s most valuable company and was the last original Dow constituent in the Index. The fallen star will be replaced by Walgreens, which is a bit perplexing. Walgreens is hardly a stock market darling, being down since its 2015 peak and in a space many think is being disrupted. The chart below from shows GE versus the rest of the Dow since 2000 – note the divergence over the past two years.
GE Versus Dow Jones Industrial Average (Since 2000)