30-04-2019: THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
SISCOG’s Head of Innovation shares experience in the transport sector
Ricardo Saldanha, SISCOG’s Head of Innovation, was invited by IT Insight to speak about AI and share how the adoption of this technology by organizations has been increasing and evolving from AI to applied AI.
This s a subject matter very close to SISCOG as the company was born more than 30 years ago not as a response to a particular market need, but with the conviction that AI was a suitable technology to solve real-world problems that other technologies could not solve. 
 
In this article addressing the specific purpose of Artificial Intelligence in different sectors, Ricardo explains that SISCOG developed systems to perform tasks that, due to their complexity and by requiring intelligence, were being done by human experts with the help of basic tools like a pencil and paper. At that time (the 1980s and 90s), AI played a key role because the ambition was to obtain, in days or hours, solutions with the same degree of optimization that human experts were able to obtain manually only after months of work.
 
Today, SISCOG solutions incorporate other technologies that allow to take advantage of the problem structure to guide the problem-solving process in the right direction" and achieve in hours or even minutes "a degree of optimization that human experts could never achieve even if they dedicated a lifetime to solving the problem.
 
 
Ricardo Saldanha’s IT Insight clipping translation:
 
Public transport
Bus, train and metro are the public transport most used by the general population. Each has its faults and its virtues. Although IA cannot solve all the problems - at least for now -, there are already uses of the technology in the day to day of the users of these type of transports.
SISCOG is a Portuguese company that, since 1986, is dedicated to the development of software for optimized planning and management of fleets, timetables and staff of transport companies, mainly rail.
Ricardo Saldanha, Head of Innovation at SISCOG, says that artificial intelligence is "at the genesis of SISCOG itself". "The company was born not in response to a particular market need, but with the conviction that AI was a suitable technology to solve real-world problems that other technologies could not solve," he explains.
The company developed systems that perform tasks that, because they are complex and require intelligence, "were done by human experts with the help of basic tools like pencil and paper." In the 1980s and 1990s, technology was important in developing intelligent systems, especially in the area of optimized resource planning and management. AI played a key role.
"At that time the ambition was to obtain in days or hours - depending on the complexity of the problem - what the human experts took months to achieve, that is, to obtain in days or hours solutions with the same degree of optimization that the human experts were able to obtain manually after months of work", says Ricardo Saldanha.
Today, SISCOG solutions incorporate other technologies that allow you to "take advantage of the problem structure to guide the problem-solving process in the right direction" and achieve in hours or even minutes "a degree of optimization that human experts could never achieve even if they dedicated a lifetime to solving the problem."
The Head of Innovation gives as an example NS, the Dutch railway company. "With adverse weather forecasts for the next day, NS can fully reschedule in two hours the duties of the drivers and guards - detailed to the minute -  to adapt to a special schedule custom-made to next day’s weather" , he says.
Ricardo Saldanha also clarifies that without the artificial intelligence component "NS would have to keep the schedules and relegate to the day of operation the management of the unforeseen events with the serious consequences that this could bring, namely the cancellation of too many trains without prior notice ".
 
Full article here (Portuguese version only)
 
 



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