One of the main briefs of the RATP Innovation Division is to define and steer the Group’s innovation programs and organize the methods and means to instill its operational teams with innovation culture. In January 2019, 10 individuals including operators, track maintenance workers and engineering staff took part in an “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” acculturation and discussion day led by EURODECISION. We met Yohan Amsterdamer, Head of Artificial Intelligence projects, to gather his feedback..
- What are your responsibilities at the RATP Group Innovation Division?
I lead one of the RATP Group’s three cross-company innovation programs, the Artificial Intelligence program, which aims to develop and implement the Group’s AI strategy. We are embarking on specific innovation projects with the business departments, and committing our fine understanding of the challenges that it raises for the Group. We are lucky in that this is currently a hot topic, which intrigues our staff and makes them open to the subject. The downside is that “anything and everything” is said about it. The businesses and management are a little lost as a result. Thus, our mission is also to make the operating teams aware and acculture them, by steering a staff community around the common language elements. The idea is that everyone will acquire a proper understanding of Artificial Intelligence’s challenges and be primed to identify the subjects to which its various technologies may apply in their day-to-day operations.
- What induced you to offer the business specialists the EURODECISION “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” acculturation day?
EURODECISION had made me a presentation of its business analytics expertise and what the presenters had to say immediately struck a chord with what I was looking for. Their engineering profiles with technical command of the subjects, presenting recognized experience with many client references contrasted with the companies that promised miracles on the basis of studying our data.
This “Introduction to AI” day matched our wish to develop the AI culture of the business teams. With the help of the EURODECISION presenter, we refined the instructive messages to tie in with our lines of thought and prepared case examples suited to our businesses.
- Did the day meet the participants’ expectations?
The attendees from both the operational and innovation departments agreed that the day was a resounding success for them. They now have a better grasp of what Artificial Intelligences are. The “cookery recipe” metaphor that EURODECISION used generated a lasting intellectual impression. Everyone has understood that there are several business analytics technologies and, that you should choose the most appropriate ones to pull off a successful AI project as you would for cooking a dish. In contrast with popular belief, the response very often involves a combination of disciplines.
We also appreciated the quality of the speakers. Their reasoning of truth drew on the same scientific approach as we use when we work on projects in a structured way.
- What did the Innovation Division feel?
This day of acculturation and discussions, is an initial step for the AI program that we will use as the basis for qualifying the needs being reported on the ground. It becomes easier to specify their expectation and support them in their project work once the business teams have been helped to rationalize their ideas. One of the day’s participants has already come forward with an innovation topic that calls for the use of Artificial Intelligence technologies.