ZOE, the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, is poised to take MSC Cruises’ Guest Services to an exciting new level with guest-centric technology that will further enrich the cruise vacation. Developed in partnership with HARMAN and Samsung Electronics, ZOE is a voice-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) tool found in every stateroom.
While ZOE acts as a 24/7 virtual personal cruise assistant, she is not designed to replace human interaction between crew and guest, but rather to provide guests with the flexibility to communicate and discover information from the comfort of their staterooms.
ZOE can speak seven languages, answer hundreds of questions about the cruise and provide information about on board services, guidance and suggestions or help to book a service. An easy to use device – guests simply 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.
This ground-breaking AI guest service has been developed in partnership with the MSC Cruises’ Business Innovation team and HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. The collaboration has brought together the best-in-class expertise in voice-enabled technology and cruise expertise as part of a shared vision for connected living, now extended to the cruise industry.
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-line 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 staterooms. In the future, ZOE will be able to offer further personalization and embedded experiences, and will also become a cross-channel personal assistant that will take on new forms within MSC for Me.
ZOE has been designed to enrich MSC for Me by interacting with the in-stateroom TV. Long-term innovation partner Samsung Electronics, designed the Hotel Management System software that allows the personal assistant to connect with the TV to provide guests further in-depth information and other guest services.
ANSWERING GUEST QUESTIONS FROM THE COMFORT OF THEIR STATEROOMS
To ensure ZOE could respond effectively to all guests, she has been programmed and trained to respond to more than 800 of the most commonly asked questions with thousands of different variants of each question. The conversation designs, ZOE’s natural speech recognition and ability to transform speech into text and back again has undergone significant testing, in addition to a variety of other behavioral, experiential and performance tests. As an artificial intelligence solution, ZOE is designed to continue learning and developing her responses based on real guest interactions.