On 23 November 2023, an ‘AI In Maritime’ discovery session took place at Google’s London offices, attended by Hill Dickinson. The session was co-hosted by Maritime UK and arranged in conjunction with Google cloud services provider, Ancoris. The session attracted a large number of attendees from all sectors of the maritime industry and provided a productive forum for stakeholder representatives to discuss how artificial intelligence and innovation can benefit and enhance the UK maritime industry.
Following on from an earlier AI In Maritime event also hosted by Maritime UK during London International Shipping Week in September 2023, these events have been organised in response to the UK government’s stated intention to invest up to £3.5 billion in science, technology and innovation. UK Maritime, in conjunction with its partners, will be reporting back to the government on ways in which investment in AI can benefit and enhance all sectors of the UK maritime industry.
The discussions centred around AI in the context of:
- Professional Services; and
Those attending considered some challenges faced across the industry and considered how AI might potentially help to resolve (or at least minimise) the consequences resulting from these challenges. Among other matters, the following opportunities were highlighted:
- Smart ports: reducing delay and port congestion and making logistical processes more efficient
- AI enabling more energy efficient voyages
- AI enabling safer navigation and reducing collisions at sea
- Autonomous and semi-autonomous vessels: including regulatory issues
- Smart contracts and their application to shipping
- Electronic trading and e-bills
- Retraining the workforce for new skills; and
- Improving the leisure cruise experience by identifying what customers want and providing it as well as improving customer and crew safety
Discussion also centred around questions such as the extent to which AI might:
- predict and pre-empt an environmental disaster such as the current drought severely affecting vessel traffic through the Panama Canal
- prevent or minimise the consequences of a situation similar to the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal in March 2021
Maritime UK anticipate having a follow-up session allowing for further brainstorming.
While Hill Dickinson is currently advising on impacts of global shipping issues including those detailed above, there is undoubtedly enormous potential for AI to contribute to smoother and more efficient global logistics as technology develops, especially in light of the rapidly evolving regulatory framework businesses need to navigate. Accordingly, Hill Dickinson is continuing to monitor these and related technological and innovative developments closely.
If you have any queries, please get in touch to see how we might be able to help.
For further information, please contact:
Colin Lavelle, Partner, Hill Dickinson