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AI, AI, Captain?

The topic of artificial intelligence (A.I.) has held our fascination in popular culture for decades. From Isaac Asimov’s seminal I, Robot in the 1950s to Spielberg’s movie A.l. and current TV hit Westworld, the concept of a machine, a software program, or a bot thinking and acting like a human being has intrigued us. But while A.I. in fiction is usually portrayed as something of a threat to mankind, the reality of its use today is something that is extremely beneficial. It is incredible to think of new insights being made through A.l. analysing millions of pieces of data, finding patterns and creating automated procedures and processes.

We paid a visit to the recent A.I. Expo in Amsterdam, Europe’s leading business conference in matters of A.I. to gain insights into latest thinking on the topic.

Two hypotheses were at the core:

“A.I. can help to fully realize the concept of customer centricity”

and

“With A.I. the customer experience can be optimized”


A.I. with brainpower

Martine van der Lee, from the Dutch airline KLM, gave a fascinating presentation regarding these two topics. KLM created a bot that was able to help customers with booking flights and then assisting customers all the way until they boarded the flight – while completing all of this in a very pleasant and smart manner. The KLM bot has a high level of language comprehension (NLU = Natural Language Understanding) and learns more with each user interaction.

The Amsterdam airport Schiphol has a similar aspiration. However the data scientists there have the problem that they are not able to access all of the data from travellers that is collected at airports. This data usually stays with the airlines or the travellers themselves. How can Schiphol access this data? With A.I.!

At each gate there are security cameras that scan all of the docking airplanes and vehicles that are necessary for servicing the airplane. With the help from A.I., these pictures can be analysed so that the airport Schiphol can find out at any time when and where each airplane is located and the status of the plane at that moment, for example refuelling, loading, or delays etc. This data can be used to help optimize the onsite user experience. Through the available data pool and its analysis, the customer flows will be channelled more efficiently, waiting times will be reduced, and the overall airport experience will be influenced in positive ways. Satisfied air travellers also provide increased sales in airport shops.

A.I. with Emotion

A.I. can not only learn through data but through visual and audio elements as well – and that is the reason why A.I. has such a strong appeal: everything seems possible! The Tech company BPU presented Zimgo, a search engine that is based on artificial emotional intelligence (A.E.I.). A.E.I. recognizes human emotions, moods and feelings through speech analysis. One application of BPU’s technology is goals is in healthcare, where it may be used to recognize and diagnose psychosomatic illnesses. More about Zimgo: http://bpuholdings.com/services/zimgo/

A general conclusion from the A.I. Expo: A.I. is not just a marketing novelty. Not only will it revolutionize marketing, but many elements of our lives. This is the aspiration of many start-up firms and innovators. In this sense A.I. will become more ubiquitous. Now it is time to take up the challenges connected with A.I., to recognize the chances and risks associated and to minimize these.

Ahoy from Amsterdam!

 

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