MSC Cruises introduced its voice-activated personal digital
assistant, which has a female name and voice, like Alexa and Siri.
MSC calls its assistant Zoe, named for chairman Gianluigi
In addition to having "a nice lady voice", said
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato, Zoe will turn on with a simple voice command "Okay,
Zoe." The name is uncommon enough
that the device won't often be activated accidentally, Onorato said.
MSC has conducted 2 million tests of Zoe before deploying it
live, to be sure it is ready. A list of the 800 most frequently asked questions
has been programmed into its system.
Onorato said Zoe differs from other digital devices in that
it is customized to each ship. It won't just say the casino is open, it will
say the casino on Deck 5 is open, he said.
Guests will be briefed on how to use Zoe in pre-sailing
e-mails, and there will be an e-guide on MSC's app. MSC said Zoe will use
artificial intelligence to gradually improve its responsiveness to guest
Onorato said the initial focus will be in equipping new MSC
ships with Zoe (the MSC Bellissima enters service in March), but there are also
plans to install Zoe across the existing fleet.
Zoe was developed in partnership with Harman and Samsung
Zoe is one aspect of a broader package of personalized
technology being developed at MSC under the name MSC for Me.