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3 Ways Generative AI Will Transform Maritime Shipping

As Andrew Ng, the Managing Partner of AI Fund has famously said, “AI is the new electricity.” Meaning, it is a general purpose technology that will fuel innovation and disruption across a range of diverse domains. 

AI has the potential to transform virtually every sector, including the trillion-dollar maritime shipping industry. I recently talked with David Liu, CTO and Co-founder of Bearing, an AI Fund portfolio company, about how AI can put wind in the industry’s metaphorical sails.

 

1. AI is helping predict global trade patterns

Say hello to the “LMM” or “ Large Maritime Model.” As LLMs like GPT-4 use language data, generative AI has applications for the shipping industry using maritime data. 

Bearing has built the foundation for powerful predictive tools by combining historical location and vessel speed data from the International Maritime Organization with proprietary datasets containing statistics about fuel consumption, historical weather patterns and market conditions. When combined with advanced mathematical models, these predictive tools can generate data about global fleet movement patterns, voyage planning, fleet allocation and more. 

In other words, the LMM can help a company stay a few moves ahead in a competitive game.

 

2. These AI tools will continually learn and improve

LMMs allow for both analyzing massive and complex datasets as well as the potential to continuously learn and improve as it is trained. Given the sheer volume of constantly evolving information, this is a good use of AI. 

For example, in order to generate a sensible future state of the global fleet movement patterns, one would need to consider the dynamics of all 70,000 vessels along with the weather and market conditions. This task would be impossible for a single person or group, but it’s readily accomplished with generative AI. 

Plus, these tools can be continually refined as the model is trained to understand the relationship between the past and the future state of the global fleet movement patterns. 

 

3. AI-based predictive tools combine the best of technology and human experience

As it’s an industry driven, literally, by humans, the value of a ship captain’s expertise, experience, and intuition is massive. But because maritime AI tools use historical voyage data that has been informed by thousands of experts, it leverages knowledge about geographic weather patterns, favorable currents and winds, and other experience-based efficiencies. As these tools develop and this human-centric data is combined with AI and mathematical modeling it creates a best-of-both-worlds scenario. 

 

While exciting advances have already been made, maritime shipping is really just scratching the surface in terms of what impact generative AI can have on its industry. For a deeper dive on the exciting future of maritime shipping and AI, please visit Bearing AI’s webinar series “AI In Surprising Spaces”.