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MSC Cruises launches AI assistant, ZOE

MSC Bellissima. Image courtesy of MSC Cruises MSC Bellissima. Image courtesy of MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, HARMAN, and Samsung Electronics have developed a voice-enabled, artificial intelligence (AI), seven language speaking assistant named ZOE.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}ZOE will be present in every cabin to help answer passengers’ questions about on-board services, provide general guidance, and help guests book excursions. She has been programmed to answer more than 800 of the most commonly asked questions with thousands of variants of each question. As an artificial intelligence solution, ZOE is designed to continue learning and developing her responses based on real guest interactions.

ZOE will launch on MSC Bellissima and will then be available on each new ship following this, including the upcoming MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa in 2020.

Guests will activate ZOE by saying “Ok ZOE.” By voice recognition she will be easy for every to control and access information using only voice commands.

Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, commented: “The cruise experience is constantly evolving to become ever-richer, offering an increasingly wide choice of services and facilities. In 2017 we introduced MSC for Me, an industry-leading digital innovation platform that revolutionised the way that guests were able to customise and personalise their experience. The technology was built into the very design of the new ships, incorporated into every step of the development process of each prototype, from conception and construction.”

“This was just the starting point in providing a connected cruise experience. There was a core guest need to be met, which was to find answers to common questions in a quick and easy way, enabling guests to make the most of their holiday. We researched the latest connected technologies and identified voice assistants and Artificial Intelligence as the way to meet this need and the work on ZOE began.”

ZOE’s physical design features advanced audio with far field microphones and a professional quality speaker to provide the best audio experience. A top-of-the-range quad-core processor will provide fast response times while Bluetooth will enable guests to connect their phone to ZOE to listen to music and podcasts in their cabins.

In the future, ZOE is expected to offer further personalisation and embedded experiences, and will also become a cross-channel personal assistant that will take on new forms within MSC for Me.

Sanjay Dhawan, president, Connected Services and CTO, HARMAN, stated: “Today, customers have increasingly high expectations for connected experiences wherever they live, work - and now, travel. Digital Assistants and voice recognition technologies are transforming the opportunity to create a guest experience that is highly personal, adaptable and intuitive. Our team at HARMAN Connected Services is incredibly excited to bring this innovation to MSC Cruises as we modernise and enhance the guest experience from the start to the end.”{/mprestriction}

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