Quality of Data is Holding Back AI Development at Ports


The quality of data in the shipping industry will hinder its adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, according to Dr. Yvo Saanen, Commercial Director and Founder of TBA — an industry-leading consultancy, simulation and software specialist for ports, terminals and warehouses.

AI has the potential to revolutionize the performance of terminal operating systems (TOS), intelligent modules and machines, but Dr. Saanen has found that a lack of “solid information” across the entire supply chain will hinder its development.

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In the first of a series of interviews with Port Technology on AI and automation (above), Dr. Saanen gave the example of how accurate reporting of a ships' outgoing baplie was “still a rare event”.

Saanen said: “Today, the quality [of information] is quite poor.

“We’re dealing with input which is at best so-so, and we’re trying to feed powerful algorithms with that.

“We have to address that.”

Read the latest technical paper by Dr. Saanen ‘Using Intelligent TOS Plug-ins to Increase Terminal Performance’ to learn how to combat rising container volumes

Dr. Saanen also explained that AI will be able to make the movement of port equipment such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and cranes more efficient as technology becomes “less sensitive” to disturbances due to AI removing the need for a continuous feed of instructions.

He added: “Moves within the stack will be automatically generated by the stacking crane because it sees an opportunity, has some idle time, and it thinks ‘OK, I don’t get instructions from the central system, but I know containers are wrongly placed — let me solve it’.”

Read more: Dr. Saanen will explore the subject of automated intelligence & AI at Port Technology’s Container Terminal Automation Conference, March 14 – 15, 2018 – London, UK

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