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Air New Zealand’s AI chatbot Oscar says g’day to Australia

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Air New Zealand’s artificial intelligence-backed chatbot, Bravo Oscar Tango (Oscar for short) has received his first international promotion - beginning work online in Australia.

Oscar was launched in February 2017 initially on the airline’s New Zealand website to help customers with commonly asked queries, saving them time and offering a more personalised experience than searching through a traditional Frequently Asked Questions section online.

Oscar was the airline’s first foray into the field of AI and was launched in beta, allowing him to learn from the questions asked by customers so the airline could continue to build him to meet the needs of his users.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says Oscar had a 7% success rate on his first day and is now able to provide the answers to customers’ questions 67% of the time, which is a great achievement for a young chatbot.

"While Oscar is still a bot in training, we’ve been delighted with the uptake which means we can increase his presence and introduce him online across the Tasman to help our Australia-based customers with their queries. We know customers generally turn to him when looking for quick answers on the day of travel and for booking flights, with hot topics including booking confirmation, baggage allowance and Airpoints queries."

"In the past 90 days Oscar has had around 55,000 conversations, typically receiving between 300 and 350 queries a day. On a busy day, he’ll receive more than 1,000 queries, with his peak demand times mirroring those of our call centre."

"In preparation for his promotion to Australia, Oscar has also been kept busy learning some distinctive Aussie lingo and sayings," says Mr Golan.

As well as helping customers with their queries, Oscar can sing, tell jokes and has also recently been launched on Air New Zealand’s mobile app to help customers on the go.

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