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mAiGreece travel assistant app launches, with some teething problems

On June 10 the Greek government launched mAiGreece, a digital assistant application offering tourists easy access to essential information in 31 languages, simply by downloading the app from the Play Store or App Store and asking the AI chatbot any travel-related questions.

Although mAiGreece appears to have successfully delivered on its promised functions, certain issues persist. The day after it launched, users were occasionally greeted with “We apologize for the inconvenience, but our services are currently operating at maximum capacity.” This issue has since been resolved, but the incident raises concerns about whether the app can handle thousands of tourists using it simultaneously during the busier summer months.

Likewise, the chatbot’s five-minute dialogue limit and lack of conversation storage can inconvenience those who need to ask multiple questions or refer back to previous answers.

Still, the app remains a useful tool for tourists seeking to plan their vacations. In Athens, nature lovers are directed to the National Garden, complete with photos and a Google Maps navigation link. Users can also request a list of nearby cultural monuments and receive directions to each site. For those visiting Thessaloniki, the app highlights attractions such as the White Tower, the Rotunda, the Arch of Galerius, and the Archaeological Museum. Likewise, mAiGreece can list the nearest beaches that have been nationally certified for their cleanliness and water quality.

Beyond travel recommendations, the app assists with immediate needs. It navigates users to the nearest public hospital or police precinct and includes a “Send alert to 112?” button for emergencies, notifying the Ministry of Civil Protection via SMS. The chatbot can also guide users to their consulate or embassy, or provide information about the nearest Greek consulate or embassy in their country of residence.

To be sure, addressing the app’s current or anticipated issues could enhance the user experience, ensuring tourists have a seamless assistant during their visit to Greece.

Source: Achilles Frangos /