Air India, one of India’s leading airlines, has unveiled an innovative AI virtual agent called Maharaja, aimed at enhancing customer service. Powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI service, this generative AI agent has already handled over half a million customer queries in just eight months, averaging 6,000 queries daily.
Maharaja is capable of communicating in four languages – Hindi, English, French, and German – and can assist customers with a wide range of inquiries. These include flight status, baggage allowances, packing restrictions, check-in procedures, frequent flyer awards, airport lounge access, flight changes, refunds, and much more. With its ability to effectively address customer concerns across 1,300 areas, Maharaja aims to deliver an enhanced and personalized experience.
Satya Ramaswamy, the Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Air India, explained that the development of Maharaja involved a combination of traditional machine learning techniques and advanced generative AI. He emphasized the use of patent-pending innovations to ensure a pleasing and efficient customer experience. Ramaswamy also noted that there has been a notable shift in customer preferences, with a greater reliance on chat interactions rather than browsing through multiple web pages.
Air India’s approach integrates generative AI with various traditional machine learning techniques to provide a consumer-grade experience to its customers. Looking ahead, the airline plans to introduce several sophisticated features in the coming months. These include combining textual and graphical interactions to streamline customer interactions, enhancing capabilities with data-driven deep personalization, supporting additional Indian languages, and improving the booking experience.
Marco Casalaina, the Vice President of AI Platform at Microsoft, expressed his excitement about the future of customer service, stating that the integration of Generative AI and Microsoft’s AI-optimized Azure cloud will play a significant role in delivering seamless and efficient customer experiences. Casalaina looks forward to seeing more organizations harnessing the power of these technologies.
Air India’s introduction of Maharaja marks a significant step towards revolutionizing customer service in the airline industry. With its language capabilities, broad range of services, and ongoing advancements, the AI virtual agent is poised to enhance the overall customer experience. As Maharaja continues to evolve and introduce new features, it is expected that other organizations will follow suit, recognizing the potential of Generative AI and AI-optimized cloud platforms in providing exceptional customer service.