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At Dallas airport, artificial intelligence is helping reunite travelers with their lost items

AI helping reunite travelers with lost items
At Dallas airport, artificial intelligence is helping reunite travelers with their lost items 02:01

Dallas — Mikha Sabu and a team of specialists patrol the busy terminals at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, picking up precious cargo left behind by passengers and bringing it back to the lost and found.  

"Once we find that item for them, they will be so happy," Sabu, who works in the airport's lost and found department, told CBS News. 

In a typical year at DFW, more than 18,000 items are reported lost by travelers. 

But with the help of artificial intelligence, about 90% of the lost items found are returned to their owners, the airport said. 

How does it work? A person needs to first report the item missing, and then include details about the missing object. The AI software then tries to match the item details with pictures and descriptions of things that were found. Once it's a confirmed match, the item is then shipped to the owner.

The Lost and Found software, which is operated by Hallmark Aviation Services, is also used at 11 other airports. 

Shimaa Fadul, who runs daily operations at the DFW lost and found, explains that by looking for distinguishing marks, like stickers or serial numbers, AI can help find any item. 

So far this year, Fadul's team has found nearly 600 rings and more than 400 watches, including seven Rolexes that were all left behind by their owners.

However, Fadul says one of the most valuable items that her team found was a wedding dress that was returned just 24 hours before the bride's big day.

"And you cannot imagine that she doesn't have anything to wear on her wedding day," Fadul said, adding that the airport overnighted the dress to her, and it made it in time for the wedding.  

It marks a "real" problem that is being solved with "artificial" intelligence.

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