Drones, digital twins, AI and mobile apps: 4 commercial aviation trends for 2018


Despite longer-lasting aircraft, more durable engines and innovations in maintenance techniques, recent research has shown maintenance spending continues to increase. In fact, airlines now spend more money on maintenance than on fuel or crew. The need to cut maintenance, repair and overhaul costs is a pressing issue for airlines, as is the need to keep assets operationally available. So how can airlines keep aircraft in the air while reducing maintenance costs? Maintenance is one of the major contributors to aircraft operating costs.

Commute-busting drone set for UK launch in March

Daily Mail

Britain's first passenger drone company claims it has found the answer to the dismal morning commute. Entrepreneur Martin Warner, 46, claims his new ultra-sleek drone will be able to transport commuters from Charing Cross to Heathrow in just 12 minutes. Scheduled for unveiling this Spring, the drone will be the first in the world to carry passengers - and could revolutionise city commutes. Britain's first passenger drone company claims it has found the answer to the dismal morning commute. Entrepreneur Martin Warner, 46, claims his new drone (artist's impression) will be able to transport commuters from Charing Cross to Heathrow in just 12 minutes Autonomous Flight is set to unveil Y6S, a two-seater electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (VTOL), in London in March.

Artificial intelligence driving KLM's social media strategy: Travel Weekly


Dutch carrier KLM, already an airline industry leader in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to field customer service inquiries through social media channels, can now deal with many social media interactions without a live agent. The enhancement allows it to answer more questions in a shorter period of time. "This is exactly what the customer needs," said Air France-KLM senior vice president of digital Pieter Groeneveld. KLM said its team of 250 social media service agents engage in approximately 30,000 conversations each week, double the volume they were handling just 13 months ago. On average, conversations consist of five or six questions and answers.

Eagles Are Out and Registration Is Back In a Not-Fun-Week for Drones

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Remember back when you could fly drones without having to pay the government money first, and when the only thing you had to worry about was a midair takedown by an anti-drone hit squad made up of highly-trained Dutch eagles? We're sad to have to report that we probably won't be seeing compelling videos of eagles handling rogue drones anymore, and also that the United States government has flexed its muscles and mandatory drone registration is now back on. You probably remember how the FAA finalized its mandatory drone registration rules just in time for the holiday season in 2015. Any drone that weighed more than 0.55 pounds was required to be registered before being flown outdoors, a process that involved providing your complete name, physical address, mailing address, email address, and a credit card that was charged a one-time fee of US $5. In exchange, you got a unique registration number that had to be visible on all of your drones.

Gradient Boosting in TensorFlow vs XGBoost - Nicolò Valigi


Tensorflow 1.4 was released a few weeks ago with an implementation of Gradient Boosting, called TensorFlow Boosted Trees (TFBT). Unfortunately, the paper does not have any benchmarks, so I ran some against XGBoost. For many Kaggle-style data mining problems, XGBoost has been the go-to solution since its release in 2006. It's probably as close to an out-of-the-box machine learning algorithm as you can get today, as it gracefully handles un-normalized or missing data, while being accurate and fast to train. The code to reproduce the results in this article is on GitHub.

10 reasons why AI-powered, automated customer service is the future - Watson


Automation is everywhere these days enabling users to accomplish a wide range of tasks – from ordering pizza, checking luggage at the airport, booking a hotel room, right through to booking a doctor's appointment. And the customer service industry is no exception. Advancements in technology continue to transform customer service interactions. By 2020, experts project that more than 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent. From improvements in loyalty and brand reputation to new revenue streams, the pathway to real-time self-service in customer service brings huge opportunities to forward-thinking businesses.

R.I.P. Christmas drones; many already go missing


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Chris Charron of Titusville is a drone hobbyist who takes aerial photos of the local landscape. MELBOURNE, Fla. -- It was but two days after Christmas when the Fenno family lost their new gift: a drone. The Melbourne residents were visiting family in Georgia when they took the drone for its first spin. It was dark, said Kaitlee Fenno, but the drone had lights so the family assumed it was in the clear.

Drone trends to watch in 2018: Big data, flying taxis, and home security


Drones are going to see significant new capabilities in 2018. The use of multiple high-functioning cameras as well as upgraded Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) will enhance navigational acumen far beyond that of today's drone models. This, combined with ultra-fast charging and longer-lasting batteries, means the drones of 2018 will have far greater range and performance flexibility. Expect to see more and more sectors incorporating drones into their operations this year as a result. Drones offer a vast, bird's eye view for collecting data, which can contribute enormously to diverse areas such as weather, traffic flow, and even disaster forecasting.

These drones can assemble themselves in midair


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a series of modular flying robots that can autonomously assemble themselves in midair and fly. In the video above, the robots can be seen hovering near one another and then slowly moving close until magnets attached to each corner of a vehicle's cage quickly snaps them together. The system, called ModQuad, is just in its early stage of development, but the researchers say they can imagine scenarios where much larger drone systems with such autonomous capability might actually be able to self-assemble over an impassable chasm and create a bridge, for example. The system is modeled after biological systems like ant or bee colonies, where collective effort can accomplish goals like transporting material or building large structures. Think of army ants that can build bridges to overcome water hazards.

Fight Against Cancer with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data - OpenMind


From anywhere and with just a mobile phone, anyone can become an air traffic controller, or at least a virtual air traffic controller. One can follow the world traffic flow of airplanes live and find out where an aircraft is coming from and where it is headed. One just has to take advantage of the millions of pieces of data that fly across the Internet. This is the magic power of Big Data. Artificial intelligence then enters the picture to find patterns and give meaning to the massive and heterogeneous information stream.