Saturday, April 16, 2011
So concierge training is super awesome. It's a little tough to sit in the classroom all day with no windows and stay focused, but we learned something really cool today that I wanted to share. So when Disney made Lilo, they also made A La Carte, which is our dining/recreation/adventure reservation system. It's very user friendly and syncs with most of our other systems. The crazy thing is that it's one of the first learning computer systems in the world. The way this learning technology works is that the computer actually tracks how we as concierge cast members use it. So if I search for a reservation and it gives me three options, and everytime that I search those keywords I pick the same first and second option, eventually, A La Carte learns that the third option is less than ideal and it will stop offering that choice. As this system is in it's infancy, those of us using it currently (that's ME!) are teaching it the most appropriate behaviors to respond with for the rest of it's life. Now sometimes it will throw out something totally random, like you search for a seafood buffet and one of your options that pops up is a steakhouse. The way our facilitator described it to us is that if you click on that option, (even if in your head, you just want to see why on earth it would pop up) it's teaching the program that steak is an appropriate response to seafood. If you just ignore that option, it will go away. How cool is that?! Apparently the woman who wrote the program line that allows the program to learn got her doctorate in computer science from this research. However, it took an extra nine months for her to get it because the Disney security is so high that it took that long for the company to authorize her to present her paper and the information to anyone else. Since this information is of such a high-security nature, Disney allowed her to use it for her doctorate on the condition that it not be published. She is currently one of only two students at her University whose doctorate research is not published. How cool is that?! Disney is so neat. It's pretty crazy how much power the company has. I like it.