The Future of Flying: AI in Aviation

With the recent proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the world, such as ChatGPT and AI-generated art, how will this revolutionary technology transform the aviation industry and the way we fly? In this article, we will explore some of the ways that AI can be and is being used in the aviation industry. 

How AI is Reshaping Aviation

Artificial Intelligence is not new to the aviation industry. Developments in aviation-focused AI have been going on for some time already. 

Back in 2020, Airbus used AI to develop an autonomous flight system that allowed commercial aircraft to taxi, take off, and land without human assistance. The program, called ATTOL (Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing), was trained on hundreds of hours of video data and culminated in a fully autonomous flight by an Airbus A350. The introduction of this type of technology could further reduce the role of pilots when it comes to operating aircraft. The large majority of flights are already controlled with autopilot, and automating taxi, landings, and take-offs would further minimize the workload on pilots. 

Credit: Airbus

Some airlines, such as Swiss and Lufthansa, have also been using AI to optimize flight plans and to predict the best routes to fly under certain weather conditions. AI is able to calculate the best ways to connect flights and reduce layover times. By using AI to optimize flights, Swiss International Air Lines was able to save 5.4 million dollars last year.

Artificial intelligence can also be used to facilitate many technical aspects of the aviation industry. AI chatbots can be developed to enhance customer service, providing faster response times and better customer satisfaction. This would allow further ease with booking tickets and could automate many menial tasks to become self-serviced. For airlines, AI can help set the best prices to maximize revenue, schedule crews on flights based on previous shift data, and predict when aircraft will require maintenance.

Credit: Cathay Pacific

Consequences of AI

Artificial intelligence can be extremely beneficial to the aviation industry and can help redefine what it means to fly, but it can also carry several consequences. While AI could help streamline technical processes, it could also replace thousands of jobs. Although unlikely, AI also has the potential to replace pilot jobs in the future. However, this will probably not happen in the foreseeable future since there are too many lives at stake for AI to be reliable, and AI could be prone to malfunctions from thousands of flights each day. 

Credit: KarmelSoft

AI is helping us bring about a new age of flying. From automating flight operations and customer inquiries to helping airlines manage data, AI is on the way to becoming more integrated into the aviation industry.


Cover Image: Royal Aeronautical Society

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