INFORM Video: Experts highlight AI’s flexibility

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In Port Technology International and INFORM’s first of a new video series on best practice of AI in ports, Matthew Wittemeier, Marketing and Customer Relations at INFORM, spoke to industry experts about the status – and the potential – of AI and Machine Learning in ports and terminals.

AI does not have to be omnipotent…

Michael Houen, Director of Smart Port Strategy, HATCH, said AI can be incredibly beneficial in minor port operations on a daily basis.

Houen said decking decisions in terminals, for example, used to be a manual process. “Every terminal in the world now would see that as an automated process…AI makes the decision on a container-by-container basis, using real-time information,” he added.

The daily use cases of AI in terminals signified for Houen that AI can be a “partner, not a controlling entity” for port operatives seeking to invest.

Richard Willis, Technical Director for Port Operations & Technology at Royal HaskoningDHV, highlighted another use case of how ports in the future can use Machine Learning to refine when a port might draw power from an energy grid, when it might use renewable energy, or when it may be able to monetise its renewable energy through selling power back to the grid.

…But it can be on implemented on a higher levels than ever before

Alexis Pangalos, Managing Partner at bloog GmbH, said examples such as Houen’s and Willis’s examples can provide “data ingredients” to provide educated insights for terminals.

Looking forward, Pangalos says AI can be used more on a higher level: “You could go one step further and try to push the whole decision to a Machine Learning module,” he said.

“I think it is possible, but it this needs a little more work on the design of such solutions to be successful.”

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