Air India flies into the future with the world’s first AI virtual agent ‘Maharaja’

In a groundbreaking move, Air India has soared ahead of the aviation industry, marking a historic milestone as the world’s first airline to embrace the era of Artificial Intelligence with its virtual agent named ‘Maharaja.’ Owned by Tata Sons, Air India initiated the pilot launch of this innovative AI-based agent in March 2023, setting a new standard in customer service.

‘Maharaja,’ powered by Azure OpenAI service, has effortlessly tackled over half a million customer queries since its pilot debut. Designed to handle an impressive range of 1,300 topics, this AI marvel adeptly responds to inquiries spanning flight status, baggage allowances, flight changes, refunds, check-in procedures, frequent flyer awards, airport lounge access, packing restrictions, and more.

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Seamless Multilingual Support

The linguistic prowess of Maharaja extends across four languages: Hindi, English, French, and German. Remarkably, 80 percent of the daily influx of 6,000-plus queries are swiftly and accurately addressed within seconds, underscoring the efficacy of this virtual assistant. For the remaining 15 percent requiring additional support, Maharaja seamlessly directs them to Air India’s contact centre agents, demonstrating a harmonious integration of AI and human assistance.

Future of Customer Service

Dr. Satya Ramaswamy, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Air India, emphasised the airline’s commitment to providing unparalleled service. He noted, “In response to evolving guest preferences, we’ve witnessed a shift towards chat interactions powered by Large Language Model-driven generative AI. Maharaja, with its patent-pending innovations, combines traditional machine learning techniques and the latest in Generative AI to offer a delightful and effective customer experience. Anticipate more innovations in the pipeline in the months to come,” TOI reported.

Microsoft’s Vice President of AI Platform, Marco Casalaina, expressed delight in Air India’s pioneering deployment of Maharaja and the utilisation of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. Casalaina envisions this as the inception of a new era in customer service, stating, “We believe that this is the beginning of a new era of customer service, and we look forward to seeing more organisations use the power of Generative AI and our AI-optimised Azure cloud to provide a seamless and efficient customer experience.”

The future of air travel is here, and Air India is at the forefront, navigating the skies with innovation and customer-centric technology.

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