Air New Zealand has introduced a new ‘social robot’ that will help busy passengers at Sydney Airport, and his name is Chip.
As part of a five-day “experiment” in the exploration between customer experience and social robotics, Chip will assist customers with checking in and at the gate before they commence boarding.
The humanoid robot is black and white, has two eyes, arms and a touch screen computer check-in system build into its chest.
Passengers can present their boarding passes at the robot's eyes, allowing Chip to scan for relevant flight and customer information.
Chip also greets customers upon arrival and waves hello and goodbye.
The robot is a result of a partnership between the airline and the Commonwealth Bank.
“Social robots can bring to life information that is not particularly engaging when delivered by a screen,” Tiziana Bianco, General Manager Innovation Labs, Commonwealth Bank said about the exiciting partnership.
“People interact with them in a very social and sometimes emotional way, which means they can enhance experiences in ways that other technologies are unable to.
“Chip is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, and is perfect for our work aimed at understanding how humans and robots interact in dynamic social spaces,” Bianco continued.
Customers can meet Chip at the Air New Zealand check-in counter and selected departure gates at Sydney International Airport until Friday 25 August.
Facebook robots go rogue
Earlier this month Facebook announced it had to shut down a pair of artificial intelligence robots after they discovered they had developed their own language and were communicating with each other.
The social media giant took action after it was discovered the pair, nicknamed Alice and Bob, were writing their own code.
The two bots were supposed to be learning to trade balls, hats and books by assigning value to the objects then bartering them between each other.
However, when they went unrewarded for performing the exchanges in English, the pair went rogue.
When Alice and Bob quickly developed their own language, Facebook software engineers interpreted it as gibberish.
That was not the case.
The plug has since been pulled on the operation, but Facebook concedes, they have no idea what was being discussed.