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New Zealand: Digital biosecurity officer starts at Auckland Airport
Her name is Vai, which stands for Virtual Assistant Interface.
"The idea is for her to take some of the load off MPI officers during peak times by assisting staff with answering queries," says MPI detection technology manager Brett Hickman.
"This is about using technology to allow officers to focus on their important role of keeping pests and diseases out of New Zealand."
Vai can answer simple biosecurity questions such as what items need to be declared for inspection and can provide help with directions around the airport.
MPI started trialling Vai last week in the airport's biosecurity arrivals area to see whether she will become a permanent staff member.
The proof-of-concept trial uses biometric technology to interact with passengers, says Mr Hickman.
"Vai uses a database of queries and answers that is constantly updated through her interactions. The technology behind her human appearance is similar to what is used in the gaming and movie industry.
"MPI is always looking for innovative ways, including emerging technologies, to improve the customer experience for arriving passengers and to increase their biosecurity awareness."
Westpac's Innovation Fund has supported the development of Vai. FaceMe, a New Zealand-based company specialising in artificial intelligence, has provided the technology.
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Other news in this sector:
- 2018-03-29 FloraHolland verfies Floralife Express Clear 100 for roses
- 2018-03-02 NPPO-approved systems approach for the import of cut flowers to Australia
- 2018-02-23 New Zealand: Digital biosecurity officer starts at Auckland Airport
- 2018-02-16 Special box extends shelf-life of flowers
- 2018-02-15 "Avoid cutting losses by prioritizing sticking"
- 2018-02-13 US: Customs will inspect 1 billion flowers imported for Valentine's Day
- 2018-01-31 US: Delayed shipments can stress vegetative cuttings
- 2018-01-30 Canada: Deadline pushed back for Greenhouse Certification Program
- 2018-01-19 New Zealand court fines plant smuggler
- 2017-12-20 India: Training on dried flowers technology and value addition
- 2017-11-29 Drugs found in South American flower shipment
- 2017-11-28 NL: New cooling rooms in use at VWS Flowerbulbs
- 2017-11-27 "Up to four times higher sales"
- 2017-11-22 "Flowers don’t require tough labor"
- 2017-10-25 Taking care of pathogens in the delivery process
- 2017-10-24 New device allows continuous monitoring of the cold chain
- 2017-10-03 US: APHIS starts offshore greenhouse certification pilot program
- 2017-10-02 "US can become a much larger market for Colombia"
- 2017-09-25 "Better shelf life, bigger and whiter flowers"
- 2017-09-22 India: Renovation of cold storage for flowers a boon