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IBM uses AI to enhance old Wimbledon tennis footage for the digital era


Along with just about every other major sporting event, the Wimbledon grand slam tennis tournament was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, organizers at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) have tapped long-time partner IBM to create a virtual two-week event consisting of classic matches dating back more than 40 years. To go beyond just bringing old matches to modern digital platforms, IBM and AELTC have leveraged AI techniques to revitalize old footage and appeal to modern viewers. With matches stretching as far back as 1977, a wide range of video quality is to be expected, and older recordings tend to have an issue with visual "noise." "To the naked eye, this noise is like static in the image, with color pixels dancing," IBM executive Sam Seddon told VentureBeat.

British Airways To Launch Guide Robots At London Heathrow Airport


British Airways is experimenting with a new tool for guiding passengers through its massive London Heathrow hub: guide robots. Starting in 2020, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom will deploy an array of autonomous robots in Terminal 5 of its London Heathrow base to help guide passengers through the airport and answer basic questions. The problem is harder to solve than it may initially sound. Getting around Heathrow requires deep knowledge of the dozens of storefronts, duty-free shops and lounges in the terminals as well as the ability to navigate through multiple floors and throngs of passengers who may not always be paying attention to their surroundings. To help guide passengers, the new robots will not only have to know where they are at all times but also be able to navigate through the airport without getting lost or running into travelers.

British Airways plans to trial A.I.-powered robots at Heathrow Airport


British Airways is set to trial artificial intelligence powered robots at Heathrow Terminal 5. In an announcement Thursday, the airline said the autonomous robots had been programmed to "interact with passengers" in multiple languages and would be able to answer "thousands" of questions, providing passengers with services such as real-time flight information. The robots are being provided by a technology company called BotsAndUs and the trial will start in 2020. British Airways added that the robots would also have the capacity to escort passengers to locations such as special assistance zones. "These smart robots are the latest innovation allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate," Ricardo Vidal, who is head of innovation at British Airways, said in a statement.

British Airways installs artificial intelligence software at Heathrow


British Airways has introduced advanced neural networks, known as artificial intelligence, to its airside operation at Heathrow Terminal 5. The new system is designed to help staff ensure every flight departs safely and on time. Currently, when customers disembark an aircraft, British Airways' ground staff manually check and record the details of eighteen different activities that need to be completed before the plane can depart for its next flight - including thorough cleaning of the aircraft interiors, unloading and reloading of catering, luggage and cargo and refuelling. An issue affecting just one of these tasks has the potential to disrupt the entire process and delay the flight's departure. Now, using a network of cameras set up around the aircraft stand by technology start-up Assaia, an alumni of British Airways' parent company IAG's Hangar 51 start-up accelerator programme, artificial intelligence is employed to compare live footage of the complex turnaround process with the proposed schedule.

British Airways trials A.I. at London's Heathrow Airport to reduce delays


British Airways (BA) has introduced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to parts of its "airside operation" at Heathrow Airport. In an announcement Monday, the airline said that AI would be used to tackle challenges faced when an aircraft is being prepared for departure after passengers from its previous flight have disembarked. It's during this time that staff on the ground undertake manual checks related to 18 different things, making records of what they are doing, British Airways said. These checks have to be done before the plane takes to the air again and are, among other things, related to refueling, the unloading and reloading of luggage, and cleaning of the aircraft's inside. BA said that if one of these tasks encounters an issue, it could potentially disrupt the whole process, resulting in a delayed departure.

Extinction Rebellion considers using drones to shut London's Heathrow Airport

The Japan Times

LONDON - Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion have drawn up plans to use drones to shut London's Heathrow Airport this summer in a campaign to stop the construction of a third runway at Europe's busiest airport, the group said. The internal proposal, seen by Reuters, emerged against a backdrop of renewed campaigning by environmental groups who argue that expanding Heathrow would be incompatible with Britain's targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "On June 18, we plan to carry out nonviolent direct action to ensure Heathrow Authorities close the airport for the day, to create a'pause' in recognition of the genocidal impact of high carbon activities, such as flying, upon the natural world," Extinction Rebellion said in a statement late on Thursday. "This is not about targeting the public, but holding the Government to their duty to take leadership on the climate and ecological emergency," the group said. Heathrow Airport said the use of drones would be a "reckless action."

NATS has begun a trail of AI technology at Heathrow to cut delays


The artificial intelligence technology could reclaim 20 per cent of lost capacity caused by low cloud and reduced visibility from the control tower. At Heathrow's air traffic control tower, NATS have developed a digital tower laboratory which combines ultra HD 4K cameras with AI and machine learning technology to help to boost the capacity of the UK's busiest airport. Heathrow's 87-metre tall control tower is the highest in the UK, but its height can also mean it disappears into low cloud, even when the runways below are clear. In those conditions, where the controllers have to rely on radar to know if an arriving aircraft has left the runway, extra time is given between each landing to ensure its safety. The result is a 20 per cent loss of landing capacity, which creates delays for passengers and knock-on disruption for the rest of the operation.

NATS to trial Artificial Intelligence at Heathrow to help cut flight delays – Air Traffic Management


The air traffic management service NATS has begun a trial to understand whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be used to help reduce flight delays. A project is now underway, within NATS' bespoke Digital Tower Laboratory, at Heathrow Airport to test whether a combination of ultra HD 4K cameras along with state-of-the-art AI and machine learning technology can be used to help improve the airport's landing capacity in times of low visibility and improve punctuality. Heathrow's 87 metre tall control tower is the highest in the UK and provides commanding views of the airport and surrounding landscape, but its height can also mean it disappears into low cloud, even when the runways below are clear. In those conditions, where the controllers have to rely on radar to know if an arriving aircraft has left the runway, extra time is given between each landing to ensure its safety. The result is a 20% loss of landing capacity, which creates delays for passengers and knock-on disruption for the rest of the operation.

Heathrow airport turns to AI to reduce delays - TechHQ


New technology could curb delays. The world's second busiest airport by international travelers (and Europe's busiest), London's Heathrow airport handled a record 80.1 million passengers last year. The logistical scale of such an operation is orchestral, requiring meticulous air traffic control 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When that process is subject to even the smallest disruption, the effect can be collateral and events can quickly grind to a halt, leaving tens of thousands of passengers grounded. Owed to a combination of the dreary British climate and the height of its control tower which, at 87 meters high, is often consumed by low cloud, the weather is perhaps one of the most common causes of delays at Heathrow.

New technology to cut delays installed at Heathrow

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Ultra high-definition 4K cameras, AI and machine learning technology installed at Heathrow airport could cut flight delays during bad weather by up tp 20 per cent. Technology installed at the west London airport's control tower will help air traffic controllers (ATCs) track aircraft when visibility is reduced. AI is learning to interpret the images and track aircraft, flagging when aircraft have safely left the runway and speeding up subsequent arrivals. Officials say the technology will be particularly useful at night, as the highly sensitive cameras will let controllers to see the airfield as if it was dusk rather than complete darkness. Heathrow has the highest airport control tower in the UK at 285 feet (87 metres), but this means it can be surrounded by low cloud even when the runways are clear.