launched a virtual citizen project, the first and one of its kind in the tourism industry. It comes as a culmination of the fact that artificial intelligence and virtual reality offer numerous possibilities in this field, which is why they decided to shine a light on this unique project. Even though most will tell there is no beauty like the real one, it is a fact that many activities started their transfer into the virtual world. Malta’s creation of its first digital citizen, Marija, proves that there is more to it than meets the eye while also adding personality and human touch to it. 

Meet Marija – Your Virtual Expert in Everything Local

She is a typical Maltese woman, but one who carries all the answers that might pop into any tourists’ mind. Marija was created with representative physical characteristics distinctive for Malta, and she also speaks English with the familiar Maltese accent. She knows everything about the islands’ history, notable people, and events can inform about any direction while being there, and can even throw a joke or two if the timing is appropriate. As confirmed by GadgetPreview, Marija is a natural, warm tourist guide, chatty, friendly, and even more since she offers a unique experience combining facts and virtual reality. 

Marija and this virtual citizen project are a joint venture of Malta Tourism Authority and software company, and there was a lot of development going on behind the scenes. Hundreds of AI-generated photographs were used to achieve the look at the typical Maltese woman, and then everything was narrowed to one 3D model. The language was also crucial, and it required hundreds of hours of voice recordings to get the pronunciation of local Maltese words and phrases synonymous in the regular conversation on these Meditanerrian islands. Also, her voice is neurally synthesized and based on the voice of the content creator. In the end, creators got an independent AI duplicated voice, meaning Marija can learn new words and phrases in the future. This fact lets her evolve as her experience grows, just like a real person would. 

“Integrating technology with Maltese tourism is the way forward in this age of acceleration. What was once known as a barren rock in the middle of the Mediterranean today is not only one of Europe’s best performers in economic growth but is now climbing up the ladder to become a digital bastion on the international stage. Our sureness of touch, steadfastness, and the ability to bridge alliances together in these difficult times, are those likely to see us continue to steer Malta as a go-to-country in the digital world,” highlighted Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Clayton Bartolo. 

Malta – A Visionary Country

Malta is an island country and recognized as a touristic paradise with beautiful beaches, clear waters, many other natural beauties, and hospitality. Moreover, with the projects like this one, it established itself as a visionary country with a promising national digital strategy. Besides the first touristic virtual citizen project, a critical product to become more relevant in the 21st century, Malta is also a world leader in blockchain, crypto, and casino regulation.  

You can read more about Marija in the official press release here: 

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