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Learning to trust maritime artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence leads to value-adding efficiency drivers of maritime companies, says METIS Cybertechnology chief executive Mike Konstantinidis.

Management of global maritime is under increasing and relentless pressure. They fight every day to ensure the safety of crew and vessels, to comply with increasingly complex regulations, to gain charterers’ trust, to increase profitability and control expenses.   They constantly use more tools, more complex calculations need to be processed daily. They recruit highly educated personnel to apply recent technologies but at the end of the day, instead of simplifying workflows, they end up with a mess of experts, fragmented systems, unstructured procedures.

Data-flow in a typical Maritime Company, is presented in below figure. Information from the vessel’s machinery and navigation conditions is transferred through a lot of layers to the decisions-makers. In each layer, data is transformed into various formats and its uncertainty grows. Increasing complexity leads to maintenance problems, difficulties in adapting to new requirements and high operational costs.

Figure 1 – A simplified typical data flow diagram in a maritime company

The above data-flow is mostly unmanageable. Nowadays, technology allows us to move the vessel in the center, to secure the reliability of the data gathered and directly access the right persons at the right time.  Major concerns on costs reduction such as fuel consumption and a growing demand for regulatory compliance, is driving the industry to urgently centralize control of their procedures. The forward-thinking managerial teams are aware that the only way to be competitive is to be technologically ahead.

However, most of the available Internet of Things (IoT) products addressing Maritime, are based on outmoded architectures and interfaces. Dashboards with fancy graphs are useful sometimes, but do not provide actual solution to the stakeholders apart from data visualization.

Applied Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are considered amongst the top Technology trends and will probably lead the technical roadmap for the coming years.  Information Intelligence enables efficient facilitation of information-flow between vessels and people onshore.

Next generation systems, already available today, can take over the tedious, time-consuming procedures and actions that require high expertise and special training, ensuring more productive time for the personnel of the Maritime Companies. They communicate with the personnel of the Maritime Company and the crew through the collaboration platform used in each Maritime company. Virtual employees-assistants, can interact with the users through the same channels, exchanging text messages in plain English, restlessly Watching, occasionally but timely Alerting and promptly Answering questions and Responding to requests. Additionally, learning curve of such system is very steep and interfaces ultimately user friendly. The end users feel confidence that the system will support and augment them on their working tasks without increasing their obligations or complicating the procedures.

Article written and supplied by METIS Cybertechnology



To learn more about building a collaborative platform between vessels and humans to improve vessel operations download the METIS Whitepaper on Maritime AI.


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