AI for Airplanes?

June 11th will mark the start of the sixth annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit, and it really is fascinating how the evolution and changes in the content featured in this year’s program reflects how the concept and use of aircraft connectivity today is evolving.

Woodrow Bellamy III

June 11th will mark the start of the sixth annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit, and it really is fascinating how the evolution and changes in the content featured in this year’s program reflects how the concept and use of aircraft connectivity today is evolving.

This year’s program will feature our first ever panel discussion with speakers that are actively researching new applications for the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in commercial aviation. The panel discussion features a wide range of perspectives including the use of IBM’s Watson for predictive maintenance and analysis of how Boeing is applying artificial intelligence to data analytics.

One area where the use of AI still has not been widely embraced by aviation is within the actual cockpit avionics of modern airplanes. That topic has been difficult to gauge in terms of how or when the use of AI in the form of a digital co-pilot might become a reality. MITRE actually already has developed such an application for general aviation pilots, although it is a speech recognition/command application reserved for an iPad, and not embedded within the actual avionics.

That’s why I am really looking forward to moderating our AI and machine learning at GCAS, to try to gauge where the industry is today with embracing these exciting concepts. In this month’s issue of Avionics, you will see AI discussed extensively, in interviews with Gulfstream executives looking at the infusion of AI into the G500/600 data concentrator network. We also show how commercial airlines are embracing AI for intelligent maintenance strategies.

Nick Zazulia also reports on how Lockheed Martin is improving the diagnosis of U.S. military fighter jet faults, and one of our newest editors contributed to an article on Thai Airways’ MRO expansion. I hope to hear feedback on what we should be covering within these and other topics from all of our readers that are attending GCAS this year. See you in San Diego!

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