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Old 01-28-2019, 01:55 PM   #1  
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Default AI making threats at ATC AND PILOTS?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2019/01/25/as-shutdown-slows-flights-into-laguardia-maybe-its-time-to-let-artificial-intelligence-handle-air-traffic-control/#5268aecb2bcd
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:23 PM   #2  
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He is more talking about using private plane cars.
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:35 PM   #3  
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People can’t even drive normal cars on roads. What makes anyone think people can drive flying cars. What a disastrous idea. Unless they’re saying fully automatic flying cars, and in that case why not just make fully automated normal driving cars?
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:55 PM   #4  
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This is almost the same tripe I read @1990.

Everyone thinks AI (back then called neural networks) is sooooo smart. People love to assign super-fancy capabilities to technology without ever pausing to look into how that technology works-and what itís limitations really are.

Those people donít understand AI. The capabilities of AI are exactly what they were back then (as far as their ability to replace stuff like ATC.). And those capabilities will be pretty much the same 30 years from now.

AI is good at certain very limited things, but something like ATC is many decades off.

Stories like that are designed to get investors to throw more money at companies to support technology they donít understand. This story is almost verbatim what was written almost 30 years ago-and all the claims that there would be no humans in ATC in a handful of years.

Back in the early 90s, the FAA threw many billions into the AI rathole and were strung along by contractors who always promised this stuff was ďright around the corner,Ē but whom Iíve always suspected knew it wasnít going to work.

Stupid regulators plus stupid politicians plus stupid investors always yield stupid results.

Last edited by jcountry; 01-28-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:30 PM   #5  
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People can’t even drive normal cars on roads. What makes anyone think people can drive flying cars. What a disastrous idea. Unless they’re saying fully automatic flying cars, and in that case why not just make fully automated normal driving cars?
The issue with autonomous cars isn't the autonomous ones, it's getting them to interact with the human driven, unpredictable ones.

Fast forward about 30 secs in

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YQIMGV5vtd4

The figure 8 pattern is interesting (last sequence).

A computer controlled system controlling computer flown aircraft is a perfect combo. About the best thing we have going for us is small autonomous aircraft will still be extremely expensive on a CASM basis even without paying the pilot. Hopefully larger manned aircraft will compete economically for a while.

But, save your pennies. For those under 40 you'll probably be out of a job before you retire.

For sure, the smaller Caravan sized guys will be gone first, already happening in China.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:52 AM   #6  
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But, save your pennies. For those under 40 you'll probably be out of a job before you retire.
There is absolutely no way that anyone actually able to read this today will be impacted. Don't scare people, management will come looking for concessions to compete with (non-existent) automation, and people might fall for it.

Even if suitable AI existed (it doesn't), there are massive regulatory, infrastructure, and economic hurdles. There will be a very, very long and very, very, very expensive road from initial investment to profitability. Nobody can even guess how long or how expensive. The airlines will not invest in anything until it's certified AND the infrastructure exists (ground handling and ATC). The government is simply not going to embark on a manhattan project to put a paltry 100,000 well-paid union members out of work. So that leaves the airframers. They can take a longer view than the airlines, but still need to show some rational logic and a timeline before spending shareholder money on something which cannot be certified, cannot be insured, and for which no market exists. ONLY the airlines stand to benefit from this, not the airframers, so they will only go there when the airlines are ready to buy. For the government it's all downside (risk) with no upside. And of course you know how much politicians and bureaucrats love risk...

On top of that, add whatever delays will occur due to government inertia and public acceptance. Maybe by the end of the century.

The technical challenge is just the tip of iceberg. Social and economic issues are the real long poles in that tent. Anyone who understands the real world knows that.


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For sure, the smaller Caravan sized guys will be gone first, already happening in China.
Yes it will start with smaller aircraft.... cheaper to experiment with and easier to certify (or get waivers). Also short-range missions with VTOL aircraft don't require the kind of human judgment that longer (or over-water) ops require. If you get in trouble you can just auto-land almost anywhere.

You can start to guess a timeline for automated airlines when uber is turning a profit with autonomous UAMs and the military is moving cargo with automated heavies.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:51 AM   #7  
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This is almost the same tripe I read @1990.

Everyone thinks AI (back then called neural networks) is sooooo smart. People love to assign super-fancy capabilities to technology without ever pausing to look into how that technology works-and what itís limitations really are.
Clearly you've never seen the Terminator.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:20 PM   #8  
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Let's pretend for a moment....

Let's pretend that AI is good enough to fly a Caravan filled with 1000 lbs of jet fuel and 3000 lbs of cargo over little Billy and Mary's elementary school without crashing.

Looking at the Mountain Air Cargo (if not the largest employers of 208 pilots, certainly in the top 5) pay scale for 208 pilots start at 45k and rise to 50k at five years. (I stop at five years because not that many folks make a career of flying the Beast)

What do you think the insurance cost will be for an AI piloted Caravan vs. a human piloted one? Remember, insurance companies always think the plane will crash into Billy and Mary's school.

I'll give you a bit of a clue....

When I flew a 208B for a family who had a 40 year old son with a ppl, what they payed me was about the same as the difference in cost of the insurance if he had flown the plane. They were paying wages which were at that time equal to about a 3 or 4 year Mountain Air rate, so roughly average.

Insurance companies will need more than an Elon Musk promise that everything will work perfectly. Those companies will charge a huge premium for a computer piloted plane ... at least until someone else takes the risks to prove the concept.

Companies will pay for a pilot because he or she a cheaper to keep than eliminate.

Oh, and to give another insurance perspective, Lloyds of London insured at least the early Space Shuttle missions. The rate was roughly equal to a third the cost of a launch. In other words, Lloyds figured to break even if one flight out of three crashed. Considering that there were 135 missions of which 133 were successful, they probably made a ton of money.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:37 AM   #9  
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Oh, and to give another insurance perspective, Lloyds of London insured at least the early Space Shuttle missions. The rate was roughly equal to a third the cost of a launch. In other words, Lloyds figured to break even if one flight out of three crashed. Considering that there were 135 missions of which 133 were successful, they probably made a ton of money.
This is typical of when insurance companies (who live and die on actuarial table statistics) have to insure something they don't understand. Actually they don't *have* to insure anything like this at all, but if they do it will be at a vast premium... until they have some long-term data.

Another of several real-world hurdles.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:52 AM   #10  
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Let's pretend that AI is good enough to fly a Caravan filled with 1000 lbs of jet fuel and 3000 lbs of cargo over little Billy and Mary's elementary school without crashing.
There's no question that automation can do that.

It's what it can't do which is far more interesting.
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