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Line Of Duty Season 2 Episode 1 [REPACK]



Surain Adyanthaya: Welcome to the latest episode of Ahead of the Curve. I'm very excited about today's episode, I think we're gonna touch some very interesting and important topics for the airline industry today. Our guest today is the Chief AI Strategist of PROS, Dr. Michael Wu. Hey Michael, welcome....Michael Wu: My pleasure to be here. Yeah.Surain Adyanthaya: Good, good. Well, to start it all off, can you introduce yourself to the audience, you've had a very important career and contributed in many ways. Let us, just talk about what you've done a little bit.Michael Wu: Well, okay. [chuckle] I'm not big with introduction, but sure, I'll give a quick intro. So I joined PROS about like three years ago, basically just focusing on leveraging AI to help our business be more competitive and be more efficient, and also like work with scientists to essentially improve our algorithm, leveraging more data sources and some of the latest and greatest from the Silicon Valley. And a little bit of a background, I've been in the Silicon Valley in startup scene for about 10 years doing social media analytics, big data, machine learning and all that AI stuff before AI and machine learning was popular. It wasn't even called AI and machine learning back then, it was just called analytics and applied statistics. So, [chuckle] you can see how long ago that was, [chuckle] so...Surain Adyanthaya: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, and that's... So much has happened in AI and it's become quite the topic that we hear about all the time. So I guess to just level set for all of us, given your experience, can you give us a simple definition of what is AI and how does it work, how should we think about it?Michael Wu: So, there's actually two questions there. [chuckle] So there's a... What is AI and how does it work. Okay, so the first part, so the simplest way to look at AI is really think of it as a machine mimicry of human behavior with two important characteristics. One is that it has to be able to automate human decision and action. And the second one is that it has to able to learn, that means you have to be able to improve its performance over time with usage. So that's it, that's what AI is, if you actually meet these two criteria, you can automate human decision and actions, such as driving a car or diagnosing medical disease or whatever, so... And you can actually learn and improve, and do better at those tasks, then it's a AI.Michael Wu: So, now that we know what AI is, we can talk about how it works. So, it really also divides like a two step, the first step is really learning from data. Learning from data, which encapsulates past human decisions and actions, and so this step is typically referred to as machine learning but essentially we are just trying to turn the data that... The data asset that most company have now, into some kind of a model or some kind of algorithm, which they could reuse over and over again to mimic this human decision and action from the past. So once you have that you can automate human decision, you need to have the second component, which is learning, improving over time. And that part involves, essentially getting the feedback data to improve the model. And this is, sometime I call this the learning loop, essentially it's what makes AI smart because every time you make a decision or took an action, you get some feedback and the AI actually learn, did it do well or did it not do well and they actually refine this model to be a better model, more optimal model, so next time it actually makes a better decision or takes a better action.Surain Adyanthaya: Yeah. That totally makes sense and I guess in line with what you're saying, data has become much cheaper to collect and store and with cloud-based computing, computational power has become much more accessible and commoditized for all of us, all the companies. Has that helped AI in its evolution?Michael Wu: Yeah, definitely, I think that's actually what spawned so many, I would say, startup, which are, I would say, resource constraint [chuckle] to jump on this area, and I think the accessibility of this technology and availability of this big data and also kind of open source algorithms have made this area just explode.Surain Adyanthaya: I guess we've seen AI, as you mentioned, in many different ways with autonomous vehicles, etcetera, it gets a lot of attention in the media, but there's a great potential for AI that's already at work in travel and has many potential use cases in the future. Can you talk a little bit about how AI can change the future of travel?Michael Wu: There's a lot, [chuckle] literally, I could go on for days on this topic, but you could kind of take a look at it from two perspectives. One is from the consumer's perspective and that's basically, AI is gonna essentially change on the future of travel experience for travelers. And so that's gonna be a very big dramatic shift in the coming days. But also AI can change how, I would say, airline or carrier operates, to be more efficient or... And so that would change, greatly change and improve the business operation of the airlines, so... Yeah, that's just a lot, so... [chuckle]Surain Adyanthaya: Right, okay, great. Well, I think maybe in a future episode, we can talk more about the business side of things. For now, let's focus on the consumer, on the traveler himself. Let's talk a little bit about how can AI sort of change the travel experience for the consumer for the better?Michael Wu: Let me answer that question with a question back to you. [chuckle] So, you are obviously a global traveler, a frequent flyer yourself, what is your biggest frustration about air travel?Surain Adyanthaya: I guess for me, the frustrations can be, I hate wasting time, waiting in line, I like transparency about my travel that's upcoming for sure, but any delays, disruption in my travel plans really are taxing and I would love to reduce or avoid them.Michael Wu: Yeah, exactly. Same as me, I hate waiting in line as well, and I hate... Obviously, delays are always a headache for... Especially for frequent traveler, if you travel so much, little delay adds up, and here's the thing, so airlines are trying to fix these delays or disruptions, it usually end up putting people in-line, the real benefit of having AI to help this is that it can actually alleviate this type of experience, it can automate a lot of decisions or actions that normally is done by human, so AI is actually best for automating repetitive tasks done by humans.Michael Wu: So think about all these delays or disruptions or waiting in line, what is the person that are doing? They're doing pretty much the same tasks over and over again for different people. So if you have a AI that can actually help them automate some of those tasks and some of those decisions, then they can actually go a lot smoother, a lot faster, 'cause you don't need a human there, the agent there to kind of help you anymore, you can actually do this through a self-serve kiosk or something like that, which you can install hundreds if you want to. So for example, face recognition for check-ins or for bag checks, or maybe even border control, so these are things that could... You can have hundreds of these kiosks, and rather than having... Humans are kind of r