Artificial intelligence is an exciting technology, and many industries are adapting and applying it to strengthen a service or aid humanity. In the global shipping and supply industry, there is a lot of talk about the benefit of artificial intelligence simply because it eliminates the “human emotion” component. Greek shipping magnate, Victor Restis, comments that the idea of AI within the international shipping and trade industry is the next logical step in the evolution of this very important industry.
As outlined in the article, Restis says that the maritime industry loves to test AI technologies but not to expect huge changes anytime soon, such as autonomous vessels. Self-operating cars, trains, planes, are already pushing the envelope and being introduced into societies. Now large cargo vessels? Thankfully, the two million seafarers that currently sail the world’s oceans and seas are not at risk of losing their jobs anytime soon. Seafaring is not a new trade, and probably one of the last remaining “romantic” trades that a person can do for a living. Global travel has a reputation for excitement and thrill. I imagine seeing the world by sea is extra special as it provides an entirely different experience than flying or driving. Being able to hear the ocean beneath you, knowing that there are dangers and serenity just below the water, is something spectacular.
Robotics is an interesting technology aiding human in international shipping, and that seems like a logical evolution. Robotics can endure much more dangerous and hazardous scenarios like onboard fires, oil spills, and other situations that humans encounter as part of the job. It also seems like robotics can conduct mundane assignments as much as the dangerous ones. Restis comments on ship inspections and how robotics and AI can inspect a vessel with a precise level of accuracy for detecting cracks or corrosions, especially in areas of the ship that may be difficult (and require a lot of machinery) to reach.
Innovation is interesting to watch and this industry and how it evolves in the future is something to watch. According to Restis, global shipping and trade is a vital backbone of the worldwide economy. If robotic and AI technology can increase maritime safety, proficiency, and delivery time, then it’s definitely in the best interest of global enterprises and governments to explore these technological advancements. It seems that global leaders like Restis have an eye on all the right parts of ensuring that the global supply chain keeps moving forward and durable even in the face of a worldwide pandemic like COVID-19.