Artificial intelligence will replace the pilot trainer: mindFly


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A trainee checks-in, uses her/his retina or facial scan to enter the training session. From day one they are assisted by virtual trainers and augmented reality to follow the training syllabus. While the ground training today has been off loaded to computer based and soon will be on the augmented reality platform, there is a heavy reliance on the flight simulator instructors/examiners to conduct training. This is rather surprising given the fact that the level of technology used in the modern airplanes has jumped four folds, the pilot training is rather obsolete and carried out the same way it was done in the 1970’s. In the current setup, trainers are performing a scripted training session with limited room for flexibility. These training sessions are plagued with biases and lack of supervision to give an accurate assessment. Trainer fatigue, standards, trainee’s individual learning style, debriefing techniques are a few critical areas where the current methodology of training is not meeting the mark.

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Here is how to keep up with times. A pilot has to perform a steep turn during training. The artificial intelligence is watching you do that, and as you bank and pull back on the stick, it can tell what you’re doing and say, ‘Hey, you’re pulling back too much.’ It’s not only telling you what to do, it’s learning how you learn, and it’s giving you advice that’s helping you real-time,”. “It’ll even suggest, for example, if you’re more of a visual learner than a text learner, ways to see it first and then do it. These are the things the artificial intelligence will help us with.

Artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies are the key to accelerating that kind of training. Things are still in the early beta test stage, but hopefully machine-assisted training methodologies ready to to change the way a pilot trains.

Among other benefits, artificial intelligence “coaches” are highly effective at gathering data from the process of training any particular pilot, and then refocusing that process on exactly the areas in which the student needs the most help.

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The second area of development would be using the same coaches in recording parameters by which evaluations will be carried out. Since there are set parameters to judge the performance standards in an evaluation session, AI can be used to carry out the same activity. This additionally, takes the stress of the presence of an examiner on board during an evaluation. The session is preplanned and fed into the system, the AI is executing the task and performing all the functions of an evaluator.

The next question would be judging soft skills during a training and evaluation session. Deep learning or machine learning is tasked to replicate the same. During the learning sessions, the AI is picking up key words and phrases used in different combination of situations, the trainees retina is scanned, facial expression and body language observed. The amalgamation of all the inputs will decide the outcome of the training and evaluation.

It doesn’t end here. The virtual trainer is a life long support who keeps in touch with the trainees even during advanced stages of their profession by keeping them abreast with the latest changes, guides them and prepares them for future challenges. A life long friend.

AI could be key pilot training aid Posted on January 29, 2019 by Chris Thatcher



About Capt. Amit Singh

I think therefore I am Airlines Operations and Safety balance expert. A former head of operations/training and safety of successful LCC's in India. An experienced member of the startup teams of these airlines has hands-on experience in establishing airlines systems and processes.

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