Qatar Airways Launches New Version of AI Cabin Crew Member

Qatar Airways Launches New Version of AI Cabin Crew Member

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: March 05, 2024

Qatar Airways has introduced an innovative AI-enhanced version of its digital human cabin crew member dubbed "Sama," representing a significant leap in customer experience within the airline industry.

Sama, a digitally created high-fidelity 3D human model, now possesses advanced conversational AI capabilities, enabling real-time interaction with passengers.

The Role of Sama in Customer Service

Originally designed by MetaHuman Creator in 2022 as the "world's first metahuman cabin crew," Sama was primarily tasked with guiding passengers through Qatar Airways' immersive virtual customer experience platform, QVerse.

However, with this latest upgrade, Sama's AI functionality has expanded, allowing her to address customer queries and provide up-to-date information on various topics, including baggage allowance, check-in procedures and layover suggestions.

Unlike conventional chatbots, Sama's technology operates through both text-to-speech and voice-to-speech mechanisms, enhancing the user experience within the QVerse.

Currently communicating in English, Sama's language capabilities are expected to broaden in the future to accommodate more languages, catering to a diverse range of passengers.

Qatar Airways emphasizes the importance of ensuring the reliability and trustworthiness of the information provided by Sama. Through integration with OpenAI, the airline has undertaken extensive training to ensure the accuracy of responses, eliminating room for errors.

Babar Rahman, Qatar Airways' vice-president of marketing, underlines the significance of this technological advancement:

"Qatar Airways remains at the forefront of innovation. The evolution of Sama embodies the airline's values of exceptional service and hospitality, which enhances our customers' digital experience."

Rahman further expressed excitement about Sama's potential future developments.

"Qatar Airways has come a long way in its utilization of AI to develop our digital human cabin crew, and we are excited to see where this will take Sama 2.0 as she continues to develop over time, enhancing her offerings to our customers," he added.

AI Integration in Airline Services: The Bad

While Qatar Airways' latest innovation shows promise, previous efforts at AI-integration made by other airlines were not always smooth sailing. 

Last month, Air Canada lost a legal battle against a passenger who sought help from its AI-powered chatbot system, which then provided him wrong information regarding bereavement travel.

Following the proceedings, a Tribunal member found that Air Canada “did not take reasonable care to ensure its chatbot was accurate."

The chatbot, which was initially launched as an AI "experiment" to boost customer service efficiency, has since been discontinued. 

Find Out If We Can Lose Our Jobs to AI in the Future

Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang

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