I am fascinated by artificial intelligence and the many industries that can adapt and apply to better a service or aid humanity. There is a lot of talk about the benefit of artificial intelligence simply because it eliminates the “human emotion” component that seems to have steered our species into some exciting times. In this article that provides comments by Greek shipping magnate, Victor Restis, the idea of AI within the international shipping and trade industry is discussed.
In the article, Restis says that the maritime industry loves to test AI technologies but not to expect autonomous vessels anytime soon. Imagine that! Self-driving cars, trains, planes, and 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 and livelihood. Seafaring is a new trade, and I imagine it is one of the last remaining “romantic” trades that a person can do for a living. Global travel has a reputation for excitement and thrill. Visiting different parts of the world, experiencing different cultures, and seeing many beautiful landscapes is something only a select group of people ever get to do. I imagine seeing the world by sea is extra special as it provides an entirely different experience than flying. Being able to hear the ocean beneath you, knowing that there are dangers and serenity just below the water, is something amazing.
It is interesting how robotics is aiding humans in international shipping, and that seems like a logical evolution. Robotics can endure much more dangerous scenarios and can help with onboard fires, oil spills, and other potentially hazardous situations that humans encounter as part of the job. It seems like robotics can conduct mundane assignments as much as the dangerous ones. The article talked about ship inspections and how robotics and AI can inspect a vessel with a different level of accuracy when detecting cracks or corrosions, especially in areas of the ship that may be difficult (and require a lot of machinery) to reach.
It will be interesting to continue watching this industry and how it evolves in the future. According to Restis, global shipping and trade are a vital backbone of the worldwide economy. If robotic technology can increase maritime safety, proficiency, and delivery time, then it’s definitely in the best interest of companies to explore and continue testing these technological advancements. It seems that 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.