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Opportunities for AI in Maritime: Using LLM

Maritime Innovation Week 2023 promises a deep dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Saile Villegas, the co-founder of Seeai, a pioneering Leeds-based company specializing in leveraging Large Language Models (LLM) to enhance user experience and amplify business value. In this exclusive Q&A session, Saile shares invaluable insights on the challenges and opportunities surrounding AI adoption in the maritime industry.

Saile Villegas is a co-founder of Seeai, a Leeds-based company dedicated to helping businesses utilise Large Language Models (LLM) to enhance user experience and amplify business value. She will be joining the panel discussion on Day 3, exploring “What AI can do to accelerate the maritime industry”.

Saile’s co-founding partner, Reo Ogusu, will follow this panel session with a segment on “Chat GPT in Action: How to utilise Large Language AI Models in Business.”

Here's what Saile Villegas told us about the future for AI in maritime.

What do you see as the main challenge for AI adoption in maritime?

“The main challenge people face is resistance from existing teams. I think it’s very human to not want to change the way we do things. It’s not just about certain age groups or job positions, this goes beyond that, there is always resistance and it is universal. One way to overcome it is through clear communication and by taking a strategic, planned approach to AI adoption.”

How would you advise an organisation wanting to adopt AI internally?

“They will need to approach their implementation in layers. The project starts by identifying the level of opportunity for disruption – as in the potential for improvements - through using AI. Within every organisation there are always processes that could be made more efficient and this is where the opportunity for AI adoption lays. For instance, if you’re searching for data manually, you’re having to look at texts and summarise them, if you have to create content for social media, elements of all these tasks can be automated. It is important to appreciate the extent of automation possible.

How would you go about communicating the use of AI in an organisation?

“HR departments and business technologists should ensure that employees understand that AI has many limitations and it is not a threat. It cannot undertake their whole jobs in isolation, it’s really important to retain the human element. It is also essential to make sure that the proposed use of AI aligns with the organisation’s values, with their brand, and includes a personal touch. As good as these models are, they’re not human.”

What are realistic expectations of AI’s benefits?
“AI has the potential to automate a significant portion, approximately 70% to 80%, of relevant tasks, such as data analysis, content creation, and text analysis, with great speed and efficiency. However, achieving the rest to make it almost flawless could require additional time and effort, as well as many iterative improvements. Even at its current capabilities, AI enables us to expedite processes and frees up creative and analytical professionals (amongst others) to apply their expertise in other ways. A key aspect of AI adoption at this point is to learn to work alongside it, and using it to augment our workload, rather than replacing entire roles.”

What advice would you offer an organisation in maritime interested in implementing AI?

“Firstly, identify the processes you could automate and then identify how implementing AI can potentially enable the organisation to achieve its long-term vision. Don’t just be seduced by the technology. Consider the constraints - regulatory, technical and budgetary - and also be mindful of the ongoing challenge of keeping up to date with the latest trends in what is an extremely fast-moving field. AI technology evolves very quickly, there is always something new trending that you might want to learn about. Your tech teams will need the skills to determine what’s right for the organisation and what to avoid wasting time with. Not all developments will offer advantages and there are a lot of fads that can be a distraction. Consider the distinction between a fad and a genuine trend to adopt. A trend has underlying value, and there’s a clear path of integration and adoption into existing pipelines or systems. A fad is just something that’s exciting, but there’s no clear or long-term applicability.”

What potential does ChatGPT offer maritime?

“Large-language AI models, such as ChatGPT, have been evolving for many years but they have only very recently become widely available for anyone to use. That’s why they are suddenly in the spotlight. Organisations will need to be able to understand them and get used to interacting with them in the future, so why not be an earlier adopter if you can?”

What can your company offer maritime users interested in AI adoption?

“Before commencing with integrating AI models like ChatGPT into a business environment, it is essential to identify the wider business value and appreciate the limitations. This is where we can potentially help the maritime industry, by helping to integrate AI technology into business processes. This work goes way beyond starting to use large language AI models. It’s about knowing how to use them, when to use them and whether they’re even necessary. Users should understand that currently they could expect to automate 80% to 90% of tasks relatively easily, but getting to full automation is very costly – both in time and budget. It may also not align with your organisational values. People need to play around with the technology to appreciate its potential and understand the limitations.”

As Maritime Innovation Week 2023 approaches, Saile's insights provide a roadmap for organizations looking to harness the power of AI in the maritime industry. By addressing challenges, setting realistic expectations, and fostering effective communication, maritime businesses can navigate the AI landscape with confidence. Don't miss the opportunity to explore these themes further at the event. Book your free place at Maritime Innovation Week 2023 and join the conversation: Maritime Innovation Week 2023 Registration.