The Port Authority of New York has announced plans to add new customer service agents to LaGuardia, Newark and JFK airports this coming July. These are not ordinary agents though, they are computerized hologram-like agents that will be deployed to work in an effort to beef up the Port Authority’s customer care program, especially during the busy summer season. WNYC Radio was able to get a video of one of the avatars and commented that it is not interactive. WNYC Radio also added that a total of five avatars will be installed on all three airports. The Associated Press covered the story and reported that each avatar is said to cost around $250,000 each.
The Associated Press also mentioned that instead of buying the avatars from an unknown supplier, the Port Authority will be renting them for six months – all for the price of $180,000. The Port Authority hopes that future iterations of the talking machines will be able to hold conversions with passengers. “The Port Authority’s three major airports are gateways to the world, serving over a hundred million fliers annually. Ensuring the satisfaction of these customers is a foremost priority, and these initiatives move us closer to achieving that objective,” Port Authority Chairman David Samson said.