Will.i.am’s new AI voice platform to be rolled out in Carrefour, VOX Cinemas in UAE

People can purchase cinema tickets and groceries using AI voice assistant



Omega, the new AI-assisted voice platform launched by rapper will.i.am, is set to be rolled out across Majid Al Futtaim properties in the Middle East.

The move comes after Los Angeles-based technology company I.AM+ signed a partnership announcement with UAE retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim at the World Economic Forum in January 2019.

The Middle East will be serve as the English version launch market for the Omega platform, a statement said.

Majid Al Futtaim will introduce the AI-powered voice assistant this year at various customer touchpoints starting with Carrefour and VOX Cinemas.

The Omega platform, customised for Majid Al Futtaim, will engage in “localised conversational and contextual style interactions”, available in English and Arabic, the statement added.

Omega’s voice computing technology understands context and will “anticipate needs” based on historical data. The technology is designed to support simultaneous multi-tasking use that combines features extracted from different modalities such as text, audio and image.

With an average of 33 apps installed on smartphones, research indicates only three apps are used 80 per cent of the time. “Command driven, non-conversational technologies lead to lower usage rates and poor retention”, the statement said.

The I.AM+ Omega platform aims to address “a rising gap between what consumers want from their smartphone applications and the current level of satisfaction that they experience”, it added.

Founder and CEO of I.AM+, will.i.am, said: “The UAE is at the forefront of AI adoption and entrepreneurship so it’s a perfect location for the first bilingual version of Omega to be introduced globally. We recognise tremendous potential in this region as it holds one of the highest internet penetration levels in the world.”

As part of the partnership announcement, I.AM+ also announced Majid Al Futtaim as the first retail conglomerate to be a member of the Accommodation and Retail Coalition, a confederation of travel suppliers, retail brands and service providers who will offer a neutral voice AI platform to consumers that is private by design.

The coalition is intended use voice technologies while also collectively addressing the challenges.