3 Surprising AI Applications in Food, Energy and Airlines

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Everyone’s talking about AI applications for healthcare, self-driving cars, and financial services. But artificial intelligence for food, energy, and airlines? Here are 3 more AI applications will surprise and delight you.

illustration of a salad and water bottle Food + AI = Personalized Flavor. Is This The Future of Food?

McDonald’s spent decades perfecting the art of serving the same hamburger across 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. In fact, it’s a mark of pride for them. And since Mickey D’s huge success, more fast food brands have worked to ensure consistency between locations.

Things are about to change. Enter Analytical Flavor Systems, “an artificial intelligence platform for food and beverage producers.”

screenshots of GastroGraphAI

Image source: Gastrograph.com


AFS have created Gastrograph AI, “the first artificial intelligence platform to understand human sensory perception”. As Sophie McBain explains in her profile of Analytical Flavor Systems for NewStatesman, AFS want to bring us into an age of personalized food.

Jason Cohen, chief executive, began in 2012 with a system to analyze tea tasting notes. In 2016, his company was accepted into a start-up accelerator and expanded their platform.

Today, Gastograph AI uses flavor notes and demographic information from professional tasters to help food and beverage producers make informed, data-driven decisions.

“One day,” McBain writes, “you might be able to hold your smartphone up to a vending machine and order a unique Coca-Cola, with a recipe formulated to appeal to your particular palate, and continually tweaked according to your feedback.”

Of course, it’s a long step from here to a personalized vending machines. But this is one of the coolest AI applications we’ve seen lately.

Read more about Analytical Flavor Systems on NewStatesman

[AI applications for energy.png] AI Applications for the Energy Industry: Strong, Clean, and Stable

The energy industry generates more than power. It also creates mountains of data. Usage statistics, sensor reports, network responsiveness metrics and more.

All this data is hard to analyze by hand. So, as CB Insights reports, the energy industry is using artificial intelligence to turn big data mountains into useful insights mole-hills.

For example, Siemens’s Spectrum Power Active Network Management system uses AI and machine learning to operate power grids with less human input.


Image source: CBInsights.com

Traditional energy companies are taking note, too. BP Ventures has invested in analytics firm Beyond Limits to improve upstream exploration and discover new oil reserves. Chevron, too, is using AI to find new locations.

But it’s not just titans getting into the AI game. A flock of interesting startups are raising hundreds of millions to solve big energy problems using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Technology firm Stem raised $295 million to build an AI (named Athena) that maps energy usage and improves storage systems.

Smart home company Nest says their thermostats use AI to learn the habits of their occupants and adjust temperatures. Nest claims to save customers 10-12% on their heating bills this way.

And last December, SparkCognition received a grant from the US Department of Energy to predict when power plant infrastructure will fail.

screenshot of sparkcognition homepage

Image source: CBInsights.com

In fact, few industries are more suited for AI innovation. And as this research brief from CB Insights shows, the energy industry is turning to AI to help increase productivity, cut costs, and improve reliability.

Learn how AI is re-energizing the energy industry at CB Insights

[AI applications for airlines.png] The 4 Largest Airlines Are Flying High With AI

Earlier this year, TechEmergence researched how the 4 largest airlines are using artificial intelligence. They found that the most popular AI applications for airlines are

  1. AI assistants
  2. Smart logistics
  3. Facial recognition

Much like other retail customer service chatbots, airlines are using AI assistants to respond to customer questions and voice commands. These assistants use natural language processing to determine the customer’s intent, and then present them with relevant information.

United Airlines, for example, is collaborating with Amazon Alexa to enable Alexa users to find answers about United flights using their smart speaker.


Image source: TechEmergence.com

Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, is using AI to automate airline operations and improve logistics. Southwest analyst teams use pattern recognition and “time series analysis” to identify and trace glitches in data reports.

Finally, Delta has invested $600,000 in four automated self-service bag-check kiosks that use facial recognition to verify customer identity. The new system, Delta claims, will save customers time and free up Delta employees to focus on other areas of customer service.

Further Reading

Have some more interesting AI applications you’d like to tell us about? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us @Lexalytics!

In the meantime, stay tuned to our blog for more AI news and insights, interest pieces and thought leadership.

And while you’re here, try our web demo with a URL or piece of plain text to see our world-leading natural language processing in action.

Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Newsletter

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