Air New Zealand unveils 'digital human'

Air New Zealand has unveiled a new team member named Sophie - a 'digital human' created to answer questions about the airline and New Zealand tourism.

Sophie is an innovation of artificial intelligence - she has advanced emotional intelligence and grows smarter with every interaction.

She was launched in Los Angeles last month as part of Air New Zealand's global brand campaign, 'A Better Way to Fly'.

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said the company has been exploring a number of digital innovations, including Oscar, their online bot created to answer customers' questions. 

"The whole purpose is really to investigate and explore the role that digital humans can play in improving the customer experience."

The technology behind Sophie comes from New Zealand tech company Soul Machines.

Sophie received specific training before the Los Angeles launch including learning about New Zealand and Air New Zealand, adjusting her Kiwi accent and perfecting her facial expressions.

Air New Zealand does not currently plan to employ Sophie permanently.