Steve King of Black Swan shed some light on the importance of gaining insight into using artificial intelligence (AI). Speaking at the Strategy Summit at World Routes, King explained that although AI has a bit of a bad reputation, it could prove to be important in how to understand travellers.
AI can be split into two types: strong artificial intelligence and narrow artificial intelligence. Strong can be perceived as creating your own intelligence, like storing human consciousness, whereas narrow can be seen as the voice machine used by Professor Stephen Hawking. This type of intelligence tries to predict the next word that Prof. Hawking is trying to say in order for him to communicate.
Artificial intelligence can be applied to the journey of the passenger. In particular, King looked at inflight entertainment and how it is evolving. The concerns of the passenger have shifted, and one of the most important things to a traveller nowadays is their health. King believes humans follow in patterns and this can be applied to such a process – syncing with apps to monitor the passenger on their journey.
In terms of predicting new routes for the future, King had pointed out how difficult it can be to obtain data from an airline. When looking at the potential new business routes that could be created, different business hubs were identified including Baltimore and St. Louis in the US. These cities contained many start-ups, and when the data was examined, a pattern emerged. It was found that at a certain stage in a certain geographical area, the growth in these start-ups does coincide with the growth in passenger numbers to that city.
Steve King strongly believes in the need to invest in artificial intelligence for the aviation industry. He said: “The use of artificial intelligence in business is probably one of the most important things we need to get our head around. The companies that are making a difference are the ones that are disrupting the way we work.”