The MSC Cruise Line (MSC stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company) has just announced an addition to the MSC Bellissima, a new personal cruise assistant named Zoe. Zoe is a tiny device that will be located on the desk of each cabin and will answer many basic questions for passengers much in the manner of Alexa. This automation is the next step in providing passengers with the connectivity and instant answers that they have become used to at home.
Zoe is pre-programmed to answer over 800 questions regarding life aboard the Bellissima and she can do this in seven different languages at this time and has the potential to expand her ability in the future. Unlike an app that you might enjoy at home, Zoe will not perform basic tasks such as booking a reservation or adjusting lights or temperature controls. Currently, she is only online to provide information.
Zoe is a one of a kind form of artificial intelligence on the open seas. She is the creation of Harman International and Samsung. Her maiden voyage on the MSC Bellissima will be March 2, 2019, when the ship sails from Southampton. If all goes well, she will then expand her services to include the MSC Grandiosa in October of 2019 as well as the MSC Virtuosa in 2020.
As a form of artificial intelligence, Zoe will have the capability to “learn” on a limited level. Currently, the system is designed to create a list of questions that she is asked but has no answer for. As she “learns” she will attempt to form general answers to these new questions.
Many consumers have become very cautious with home automation assistants such as Alexa. The concern is that there is a level of security being breached by the recording of personal conversations, data and other information which can then be made public or at least passed on or retrieved by someone with access to the device or the operating system. Recording personal conversations, data and other information which can then be made public or at least passed on or retrieved by someone with access to the device or the operating system. The devices being used by MSC are much more basic than the home versions and have far less potential for misuse.
Before these assistants can be tasked with more applications and services, there will be a need to create a very intense security protocol to ensure that guests cannot access the information provided by previous passengers, or cannot reverse engineer a path into the management network for the entire vessels automated assistant network. For the time being, this is a small test of a very basic application.