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Add to your list of cell phone contacts: Emma, Vail Resorts’ new Epic Mountain Assistant (EMA—get it?!) debuting later this winter at Vail, Beaver Creek, and seven other VR mountains (get the details about how to connect at emmaisepic.com). Think Siri meets Alexa meets Watson, only this AI can ski and knows everything about all the stuff that matters, like when the rope will drop on your favorite Back Bowl on a powder day or which mountain was in the sights of Ullr’s snow cannon last night. So how does “she” work? Unless you’re a computer scientist, all you really need to know about what’s under Emma’s virtual hood (artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology) is that VR’s EMA will be at your beck and call 24-7, offering up info on everything from on-mountain directions to grooming reports to parking suggestions; if you do happen to stump Emma (“What’s the difference between a ski patroller and God?”), she’ll connect you to a live customer service representative (correct answer: “God doesn’t think he’s a ski patroller!”).

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