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Southwest Airlines just insulted unhappy customers in a truly spectacular way


Well, except for those pesky FAA computers going down for a few hours, which stopped Southwest from flying any domestic planes at all. Unlike, for example, the spectacular Christmas meltdown that stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers all over America. Southwest was slow to utter even the slightest mea culpa. The airline blamed the weather before it even admitted its own software-buying decisions might have something to do with the mess. But as Southwest has floated back toward a regular service, it's begun to offer penance.

Startups Want to Help Airlines Prevent Tech Meltdowns WSJD - Technology

The meltdowns at Southwest and the FAA, just weeks apart, were because of weaknesses in systems scheduled for upgrades--underscoring the urgent need to give priority to efforts to modernize those systems, as well as the consequences of waiting to do so, the consultants said. While starting over wholesale with new information-technology infrastructure is likely unrealistic, consultants said, the sector should take advantage of cloud-based tools that can integrate the fire hose of real-time data driving airline operations. Newer, cloud-based infrastructure and databases can scale horizontally--meaning they can take advantage of distributed computing resources across the internet as needed. This design allows information to flow more freely, reducing the likelihood of glitches that cascade into systemwide shutdowns. Older, legacy systems are limited to the amount of computing power available.

Hitting the Books: AI is already reshaping air travel, will airports themselves be next?


The holiday travel season is once again upon us! It's the magical time of the year that combines standing in airport security lines with incrementally losing your mind as the hands of your watch perpetually tick closer to a boarding time that somehow moved up 45 minutes since you left the house and the goober in front of you is, in the year of our lord 2022, still somehow confused about why we have to take our shoes off in security and, goddamit dude, stop arguing with the TSA and untie your laces already these tickets are nonrefundable. AI can help fix this. It can perhaps even give regular folks a taste of the effortless airport experience that more well-heeled travelers enjoy -- the private jet set who don't ever have to worry about departure times or security lines like the rest of us schmucks stuck flying Spirit. In their latest book POWER AND PREDICTION: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence, University of Toronto economists and professors Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb examine the foundational impact that AI/ML systems have on human decision making as we increasingly rely on automation and big data predictions.

Is artificial intelligence the future of customer service?


Frontier Airlines has dropped its customer service line in favor of a chat bot, social media, and other text-based methods of communicating. As reported by NPR on Saturday, a company spokesperson said that "the airline found that most customers preferred communicating through online channels." As a consumer, what do you prefer? The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to handle customer service issues is on the rise. What are the benefits and drawbacks?

From Prediction to Transformation


While the popular view is that insights are the key benefit of artificial intelligence, in truth AI creates value by improving the quality of decisions. The good news is, the opportunities for it to do that in business are countless. But because decisions in one area of an organization usually have an impact on decisions in other areas, introducing AI often entails redesigning whole systems. In that way, AI is similar to groundbreaking technologies of the past, like electricity, which initially was used only narrowly but ultimately transformed manufacturing. Decisions involve a combination of prediction and judgment, and because AI makes highly accurate predictions, it will shift decision rights to where judgment is still needed, potentially changing who makes decisions and where, when, and how. More-accurate predictions in one part of a value chain will also have ripple effects on other parts. For instance, if a restaurant can reliably forecast the amount of ingredients it needs each week, its orders will fluctuate, making its suppliers’ sales more uncertain. Strong communication is needed to synchronize effort and resources in a system, and modularity will help prevent changes in one area from disrupting others.

An AI that lets cars communicate might reduce traffic jams


Did you know there's a specific term for the times when you encounter sudden, inexplicable vehicle congestion on the interstate despite no discernible culprit such as rubbernecking or an accident? It's called a "phantom traffic jam," and was first identified around 12 years ago by researchers in Japan conducting a simple experiment. Despite telling 20 human drivers to all drive at a constant speed around a circular track, even the briefest instances of individuals' pressing their brake pedals compounded on one another, resulting in those recognizable traffic fits and starts. This automotive variation on the "butterfly effect" has been carefully studied ever since, and a research group is now approaching the finish line on a potential solution devoid of any sort of half-baked "self-driving" system. As Associated Press recounts, a recent experiment has shown instances of phantom traffic jams can be reduced by linking cars' into a single communication network via utilizing newer vehicles' adaptive cruise control systems.

American Airlines may end a real customer advantage for a sad, twisted reason


It's easy to think all US airlines are the same. Well, so similar that sometimes it doesn't make that much difference which one you fly. Yet each has small pockets of difference that -- given four of them own more than 80% of all airline seats -- can truly stand out. You're still allowed to dream.) It flies to a lot of places and sometimes gets you there on time. But there's one little quirk that, for many customers, is a true positive with American -- the ability to hold a fare for 24 hours without actually paying for it.

How Artificial Intelligence Is Influencing the Future of Work in the Airline Industry


Commercial airlines and other travel and transportation leaders are facing significant challenges in managing pricing, demand, and logistics in today's volatile environment. This summer's travel disruptions have laid bare the potential for intermittent hiccups in post-pandemic operations to have drastic effects on customer satisfaction and revenue opportunities. With travelers' patience wearing thin, airlines need to reinforce their people, processes, and technologies. By building artificial intelligence (AI) solutions into processes across their organizations, airlines can leverage their data, analysts, and revenue management opportunities to take advantage of new business fundamentals in this changing environment. "Artificial intelligence isn't replacing the airline data analyst's job," said Alex Mans, founder and CEO of FLYR Labs, a technology company driving commercial optimization for airlines.

This Startup Is Making Artificial Intelligence A 'common Sense' Like Humans


However, one of the main obstacles to overcome is common sense, which this technology lacks. This is something that David Ferrucci, the leader of the team responsible for ibm watson computer and who serve as executive directors of today Elemental Cognition, a startup that seeks to address the shortcomings of AI. "For me, the Watson Project was always just a small part of a bigger story about where we want to go with AI," he says in the statement. Now, its main purpose is to become humanity's "thinking companion", capable of suggesting and explaining. The system in which E is conservedMental Cognition combines the latest advances in machine learning with software modeled after human reasoning. New programs can recognize patterns and make predictions, sifting through vast amounts of data at breakneck speed to generate the most likely interpretations.