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Logan debuts Siri-like digital assistant

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  June 22, 2012 11:16 AM

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Carla.JPG

Apple has Siri and now Logan International Airport has Carla.

Hoping to ease traffic through the main security checkpoint in Terminal E, Massport is introducing a virtual assistant named "Carla,'' a digital projection dressed as Massport customer service rep, who will offer travelers instructions on what they need to do.

Carla, who apparently speaks Spanish and English (but most would say she doesn't sound like a local girl, more car-la than cah-lah), will remind passengers to get out their identification and boarding pass, shed shoes and coats, and prepare carry-on laptops, liquids, and medicines for inspection.

Officials hope having Carla there to explain procedures will free up TSA officers to focus on screening passengers rather than preparing them. They expect she will assist about 6,000 travelers a day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Unlike Siri she does not respond to random queries. So she will neither tell jokes to John Malkovich nor will she refer to anyone as a rock god.
But, on the other hand, she won't force anyone to watch Zooey Deschanel dance to "Shake, Rattle and Roll'' in her pjs either. Seems fair.

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