MSC needed to innovate the guest experience and decided on the implementation of a new virtual personal assistant developed specifically for MSC cruises. The new AI assistant called “Zoe” is 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. Zoe was housed in a device similar to any Smart Speaker allowing guests to connect with their phones but was missing the last component, the voice. Zoe needed to be able to respond to all sorts of guest’s inquiry in a human-like manner.
Giving a Voice to Zoe
ReadSpeaker was able to provide a series of industry-leading TTS voices in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Mandarin to power Zoe. The TTS voices allow Zoe to express emotions through the intonation and speaking style in all 7 languages.
Zoe, using the power of AI is able to learn and develop new responses based on her experiences answering the 800+ most frequently asked questions by guests. However, this also means that there is a near infinite amount of responses that Zoe has to be able to say. Zoe’s speech would be clunky and stilted if it was powered by the “Unit Selection Synthesis” where small sections of recorded speech are chopped up to produce the response. However, ReadSpeaker’s Neural TTS voices uses the power of Deep Neural Networks to produce responses which are drastically more realistic and human-like as the actual response is not a remixed recording but an entirely AI-generated voice. This allows for infinite variants in Zoe response while maintaining a high level of quality.