Qatar Airways has taken off towards unchartered territories in aviation with the first artificial intelligence (AI) digital human cabin crew, a holographic figure named Sama 2.0, who can design curated travel experiences for the airline’s passengers.

Launched at the ITB Berlin travel and trade exhibition, Sama (Sky in Arabic) is a conversational AI, who comes with a backstory of a childhood in Doha, which led to an eventual career in aviation and coming on board with the Qatar-based carrier.

While still in her infancy, she is ready to answer questions in real time, including your boilerplate FAQs, comment on destinations, provide support tips, among other things.

Accessible through QVerse, Qatar Airways’ digital platform, as well as through the airline’s app, Sama has been developed by the carrier’s partnership with UneeQ, a New Zealand-based intelligent AI interface company that specialises in AI digital human technology.

“This is a monumental point in spearheading the successful synergy between technology and human connection – not only for Qatar Airways, but also for the industry at large,” Qatar Airways Vice President Marketing, Babar Rahman, said in a statement.

UneeQ Chief Executive Officer, Danny Tomsett, called her a “testament to the endless possibilities of AI, capable of delivering personalised and engaging interactions that mirror human conversation.”

The company stated, Sama delivers conversation through generative AI, powered by Synanim, UneeQ’s real-time, lifelike animation technology.

Initially fluent in English, the company said she’ll be expanding to Arabic and other languages later this year with capabilities for real-time translation to cater to a global audience.

According to Precedence Research, the market size of global AI in aviation was estimated at $ 653.74 million in 2021 and it is expected to surpass around $9,985.86 million by 2030 with a registered CAGR of 35.38% from 2022 to 2030.

(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz)