Nation Current Affairs 03 Feb 2019 Cruise liners to hav ...

Cruise liners to have voice-enabled AI

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J V SIVA PRASANNA KUMAR
Published Feb 3, 2019, 6:17 am IST
Updated Feb 3, 2019, 6:17 am IST
AI can speak 7 languages, help improve guest service.
 (Representational Image)
  (Representational Image)

Chennai: Artificial intelligence (AI) in a cruise vessel may not sound outlandish. AI finds interesting application in computer science facilitating the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.

AI is now set to become part of the voyage on the high seas.

 

For the first time, MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately owned cruise company and leading cruise line in Europe and South America, introduced AI-powered virtual personal assistant ‘ZOE’ on its new ships to take the guest service to a new level. This voice-enabled AI found in every cabin can speak in seven languages. MSC’s cruise luxury liners cover the Indian ports of Mumbai, Goa, Kochi and Mangalore.

ZOE is a first in the cruise industry and another example of how MSC Cruises continues to lead the way with employing technology to enhance the guest experience. 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.

 Says Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, “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.”Developed in partnership with the MSC Cruises’ Business Innovation team and HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, ZOE is a voice-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) found in every cabin that can speak seven languages. Able to answer hundreds of questions about the cruise, she can provide information about onboard services, provide guidance and suggestions or help to book a service. An easy to use device - guests just say, “OK ZOE”, and she’s ready to help. The advanced voice recognition feature makes it easy for everyone to control and access information using only voice commands.

 “Today, customers have increasingly high expectations for connected experiences wherever they live, work - and now, travel,” said Sanjay Dhawan, president - Connected Services and CTO, HARMAN. “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.”

 ZOE’s physical design features advanced audio with far field microphones and a professional quality speaker to provide the best audio experience. Guests will enjoy fast response times thanks to the integration of a top-of-the-range quad-core processor, and also have the opportunity to connect their phones directly to the device through Bluetooth to enjoy music, podcasts and more directly in their cabin.

 In the future, ZOE will be able 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.

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