Aviation and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is a term that is most talked about nowadays, especially after the invention of ChatGPT, which surprised humanity with its capability. The implementation of AI nowadays is endless, and especially within aviation, it on the one hand can be a game changer, but on the other can also be a threat to those who are lagging behind and reluctant to change.
How Airlines/Airports can uplift their operations by leveraging AI?
Ground handling: without doubts, chatbots are now smarter than ever and consumers could barely recognise the differentiation between human and bot on customer service calls. There’s a fact that numerous companies worldwide already have chatbots integrated into their CS system, which in aviation in particular, accurate answers to bookings, cancellations, delays, etc can be handled and provided by chatbots hassle-free. Additionally, self check-in, self baggage drop-off counters are more and more common in several Airports, Dubai, Doha, Changi, etc. to name a few. For instance, if you ever come to Changi Airport, your journey will be elevated with more and more “human-free counters” being placed across the areas; or in Dubai International Airport, you will enjoy fast and lean self custom clearance procedures thanks to the SmartGates.
Cabin Service: it’s true that robots are widely used in several restaurants across the globe, how about on board servicing? Although we have not noticed any airlines have such, however, that could potentially be the future. Passengers can now be served “tea or coffee” by robots running through the aisles, customers can pick their own food of choice and enjoy the meal right after take-off. Additionally, speaking about in-plane facilities, humans have invented planes that can fly themselves accurately and effortlessly. Pre-programmed future aircraft might do their own job and control their own speed and altitude without manual intervention.
AI does remove much of humanity from the workforce, and that’s a cost saving implementation. Corporates might spend tons of money on the 1st installation, however, they are free from monthly salary payouts, which must be stressful. Cost of training will also be removed too, and that’s obvious; in fact, that will be replaced by periodical maintenance of the machinery, however, it will ensure consistent service quality delivered at a certain level.
Of course, everything comes with pros and cons. Despite several advantages, when it comes to computers and networks, security will be a double-edged sword. AI can be safe because of pre-programed codes, it can also be vulnerable to risks of being hacked. When there are humans on a plane and security at the traditional customs gates, risks of terrorism can be reduced tremendously as we are emotional and intellectual living species. Under the era of AI, the most dangerous terrorists are the smartest programmers who can get into the plane system remotely and make their bad desires come true. To a certain level, we might, definitely, need the Homo Deus on-site to observe and ensure safe and sound operations.
Aviation workforce is changing rapidly. Going forward we might not need a huge and hefty human resource structure to perform tedious repetitive tasks, 80% of which could be cut and the 20% left are the intellectual Homo Deus who can talk and control supercomputers to ensure smooth operations. We might still have a long way to go, not only to wait for technological development to adapt with our hands-free needs but also to gradually change and update our mind towards the advanced future.
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