Dr. Tom Heseltine, CEO of Aurora-AI wants you to know he’s seen all the same scary sci-fi movies you have, but he’s not worried about Artificial Intelligence’s impact on the future. In fact, he’s looking forward to it.

“I really believe that AI can help make all of our lives better – provided it’s used and applied correctly. At Aurora-AI, we’re making artificial intelligence really accessible. It’s a difficult technology to get right, but when you do, it can be an extremely powerful tool for companies.”

Aurora-AI uses deep learning to help their clients, including some of the world’s busiest airports, enhance efficiency and improve customer experiences.

Tom Heseltine“AI is particularly applicable to the aviation industry. It can help detect threats in baggage such as guns or knives, but it also helps with some of the more mundane things that happen in airports. On any given day, you can have huge load fluctuations, depending on things like road traffic, or how many people are turning up at the immigration desks and flight delays. Knowing when to anticipate rushes can make huge impacts on staffing decisions. AI automation allows you to set parts of the system to maximum capacity whenever they are needed. Automated gates using AI facial recognition, for example, are always ready to go at full speed. If you have AI to deal with 95% of those mundane tasks, you can use your staff to focus on the 5% of tasks that require personal, human expertise.”

Heseltine has made a point of testing the technology he advocates, as a customer and not just as CEO.

“Of course, because of Covid, I haven’t flown in a while, but as a traveller, I’ve seen the benefits of AI, particularly at Heathrow Airport, where 100% of domestic flights use our technology. I love to step aside and watch while these big rushes of people go through the automated gates. It’s amazing to witness the speed with which you can see all these little green ticks light up. Passengers pass through seamlessly, without thinking about the technology – which is what you want – but behind that simple-seeming process, there is a complex artificial neural network on each one of those gates. When I watch that in action, I get a feeling of pride, seeing that technology and all those years of effort being put to good use.”

Aurora-AI technology is also being used by parent company Vision RT to power products such as SafeID™, a touchless solution for the radiation therapy sector, which uses AI and facial recognition for verifying that the right patient is selected for treatment. SafeID improves the accuracy of patient identification and reduces the risk of infections – two of the key patient safety goals for many modern healthcare systems.

“Vision RT and Aurora-AI share the mission of using technology to solve really challenging problems with real-world impact. It’s not just businesses that benefit from AI. If you’re a passenger, you want reassurance that every person on the aircraft you’re flying on is the correct person and has been checked by security. In the medical world, if you’re a patient receiving radiation therapy, wouldn’t you want that absolute assurance that you are receiving the radiotherapy that was designed and planned for you? Seeing our work have a real-world impact is what drives me. It’s not just that we’ve helped make things easier and faster, but we’ve helped contribute to people’s safety. That’s all thanks to AI and there are even greater possibilities for the future. And that’s not science fiction.”