This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

Could your pilot be replaced by AI?


In 2020, airlines are expected to transport a record of 4.72 billion passengers. With an ever-increasing number of fliers, airlines had to find an efficient and cost-effective way of handling vast quantities of customer queries. In fact, 68 per cent of airlines and 42 per cent of airports have implemented AI-powered chatbots to provide flight information, reservation details, and answer common questions related to arrivals and departures​.

The introduction of AI to the aviation industry has simplified numerous tasks for airlines and airports.

This Week’s Must Read  is an is an insight piece from Richard van Hooijdonk about how AI can be used to improve and simplify customer service, airport security and maintenance. But it also alerts companies to be more rigorous in safety measures to avoid the pitfalls of AI.

Read on to Find out More: “AI is taking the aviation industry to new heights | Richard van Hooijdonk.

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Somewhere, in a parallel universe, there is an Ella Atkins who happily does her research on autonomy in aerial vehicles, licenses software to aircraft companies and generally makes airspace a safer place. In our universe, aerospace hasn’t been ready for her​.


  • Digital Transformation-where we are today: “ICF segments the global fleet into four technology categories: Old, Mature, New and Next. The Next generation of aircraft includes the Boeing 787s, the Airbus A350s and the Bombardier CSeries (now Airbus 220) as well as the Boeing 737MAX and Airbus A320NEO, the Embraer E-Jet E2, and the Mitsubishi MRJ. These are new aircraft with enhanced data capability which has an important impact on people in maintenance in terms of what can be done with that data.” The author provides his perspective where the aerospace industry stands in the digital transformation journey. | Martin Harrison, ICF for Aircraft IT
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Aerospace: “For decades, commercial aerospace companies built systems to assist pilots in transporting passengers from one destination to another. Flight assistance technologies like radio communication, air traffic control (ATC) towers, flight manuals, and electronic flight instrument systems (EFISs) assisted pilots in navigating cloudy, stormy and low-visibility conditions.” The author explores AI applications and ideas in the aerospace industry. | Slava Kurilyak, Produvia
  • Machine Learning &Artificial Intelligence in Aerospace Industry: “Artificial intelligence plays a significant role in cutting costs, reducing the design cycle time, simulation, prototyping, optimization, maintenance, manufacturing and updating products and is all set to drive many developments in the aerospace sector in the next 15 years. Advances in AI could help aerospace companies optimize their manufacturing processes.” This whitepaper explores how AI can be a disruptive technology for the aerospace industry. | AXISCADES
  • Is it right to use artificial intelligence in aviation security? “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded.” On the face of it, a chilling statement made by the late Stephen Hawking. The world-renowned theoretical physicist was speaking of his fears of an unleashed artificial intelligence (AI). “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” he said, adding, “it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate.” Here is a debate around the pros and cons of HEXWAVE, a new security imaging system supported by artificial intelligence.| Airport Industry Review.


  • The coronavirus has pushed 3.3m American workers onto the dole in a week: “ECONOMISTS KNEW that the figure for American unemployment claims would be bad. Yet many were still stunned when the Department of Labour released its data. On March 26th government statisticians reported that 3.3m Americans had filed unemployment claims in the week ending on March 21st, by far the highest total since the series started in 1967.” | The Economist
  • IBM launches Weather Channel map to track coronavirus: “In an effort to keep folks abreast of the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which has sickened more than 400,000 people, IBM today announced the launch of an incident map on The Weather Channel. It will join the news and information feeds already available on and The Weather Channel mobile app, which IBM says has more than 300 million active monthly users.” | Kyle Wiggers, VentureBeat
  • POPcodes Announces Initiative to Help Acquirers and ISOs Instantly Deliver COVID-19 Safety Messages to Merchants:POPcodes, a trusted payment terminal software provider, today announced that it is offering to provide personalized, white-labeled versions of its point-of-purchase communication software for free with a turnaround time of 48 hours. The technology will be configured to deliver COVID-19-specific cleaning instructions directly to the merchant’s in-store payment terminal, helping keep employees and customers safe. POPcodes is committed to helping stop the spread of the virus and start recovery.” |PRNewswire
  • Consultants should embrace RPA to grow their client impact: “Robotic Process Automation, an increasingly popular technology, can reduce costs and boost productivity, accuracy, data analysis and decision-making. The Centre for Management Consulting Excellence recently ran an evening symposium focused on how robotics can help consultants improve their impact at clients.” |


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Hélène Laffitte
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Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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