How Sabre is leveraging the Machine Learning algorithm
At Sabre, as we evaluate new opportunities for leveraging Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, we realize that a fundamental challenge that needs to be addressed is how to scale this specialized knowledge across the organization.
Central to realizing scale across the organization is to raise awareness of the role of AI, communicate where it can be used, encourage teams to be curious, learn and leverage our extensive data sources and bring forward new travel-related value propositions and use-cases that add value to our customers.
There are two key challenges with leveraging Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in any enterprise.
- First is the skill to identify use-cases and areas where AI-inspired algorithms can be leveraged to create a new solution or enhance an existing solution.
- Second, is the ability to scale the adoption of AI/ML across the organization. We are currently addressing these two challenges with the following initiatives.
AI Special Interest Group (AISIG)
In January 2018, we established an Artificial Intelligence Special Interest Group (AISIG). This AISIG today has over 400 members globally across Sabre, who have expressed an interest in AI/ML, from business units and technology with representation from product marketing, product management, product development, data analytics, and research.
The AISIG community uses group discussions and periodic notifications to stay informed about the latest developments in AI, Sabre priorities and use cases.
In the AISIG microsite, innovations in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning algorithms, industry innovations, and academic research papers are reviewed and debated.
AISIG Town Hall Meetings and Hackathons
We also established a quarterly cadence for town hall meetings to discuss industry trends, Sabre use cases in action and provide transparency into prioritized initiatives across the company, as well as invite external speakers to talk about advances in commercial tools and state-of-the-art ML research.
Besides the Town Halls, we also established and supported hackathons that explored particular use-cases, and applicability of various ML techniques to such real travel-industry use-cases.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Training
Over 550 employees have gone through our training class titled “Introduction to AI/ML at Sabre”. The introductory class provides a business-oriented overview of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methods with examples drawn from the Sabre travel ecosystem.
It is intended for individuals who are not familiar with AI/ML methods but are interested in learning the key concepts and the application of these technologies. The objective of this class is to help instill an intuitive understanding of what types of applications can (or cannot) benefit from AI.
The key to Sabre’s AI Initiative is to raise awareness and imbed a “sense and respond” mindset among employees to enable the rapid adoption of AI Technology. In travel, it is difficult to predict which companies will capitalize on the AI-enabled landscape and be successful.
A critical success factor will be the willingness of managers and individual contributors to be nimble, establish success criteria, run experiments, evaluate results quickly and move an application to the next stage with a fail-fast attitude.
We anticipate that these small fundamental steps accelerate awareness and urgency for the adoption of AI across the organization for competitive advantage in the marketplace. At Sabre, this journey has started and is continually evolving.
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network, and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.