Spafax hackathon finds new airline use-cases for AI


The first hackathon from airline entertainment curator Spafax saw developers explore use-cases for artificial intelligence which would help carriers offer passengers a better travel experience.

In a two-day event at the company’s London office, two teams of Spafax developers were tasked with researching and building a basic working prototype of an AI-powered solution.

Kavin Joysury, Software Development Manager at Spafax says:

“Our first hackathon was designed to lay the foundation of some new concepts that we hope can really help to reimagine the passenger experience. After an intense 48 hours, we’re excited to reveal the two solutions built by our talented team of in-house developers and begin to look at how their ideas can be integrated into our existing platforms.”

The first team developed a more conversational flow for chatbots, coming closer to human interactions, using a new machine-learning application called LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligence Service) to improve dialogue. The team also added Cognitive Services like facial recognition to the chatbot. With this feature, airline customers would be able to request a list of films playing onboard that feature a particular actor by uploading her or his image.

The second team focused on AI applications to analyze video content using machine learning. The team trained the AI platform to spot particular objects, scenarios or restricted content which the Spafax content curating team might need to edit out of films to meet an airline’s content standards. The AI was able to find content that a human screening team would usually flag for editing, such as adult content and a plane crash scene.

The Spafax tech and development team will now work on integrating these features into existing digital platforms.

Jonathan Gilbert, director of digital content & innovation at Spafax says:

“This hackathon is an exciting step towards positioning Spafax as an industry leader in transforming the passenger experience. We are keen to build out the hackathon program, its participation, outputs, and partnerships.”

Spafax introduced an inflight entertainment personalization platform for Amazon Alexa last year which is used by American Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS.



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