The Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) organised a crucial workshop on artificial intelligence (AI) on Wednesday, August 16, as its adoption becomes increasingly widespread in the industry.
The well-received virtual seminar was facilitated by Dr Allison Hudson, assistant professor in the School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation at Miami Dade College, USA, and looked at the fundamentals and application of AI in the business, shipping, and logistics sector.
The fully subscribed course attracted a diverse group of participants from over a dozen companies and five countries across the region, all eager to understand and leverage AI in their operations.
Dr Hudson said that while AI continues to develop and become more effective, it should not be feared even though its application will see some roles evolve and others become redundant. However, it will also create opportunities for people who are able to adapt to the changing needs.
“These technologies have now revolutionised the world of work because it allows us, in real time, to collect data and analyse it. It has been used to improve our decision-making, increase automation, allow for predictive maintenance, enhance our productivity and flexibility,” she said.
However, the process is a “collaboration between humans and machines”, she said, noting that people will have to develop new skills to create an “enhanced workforce” to address the shift.
Dr Hudson said that although AI is projected to eliminate 85 million jobs, according to a study by the World Economic Forum, it will create 97 million new roles and change nearly half of existing jobs in the coming years.
The workshop also explored the various forms of artificial intelligence, from narrow AI, which excels in specific tasks, to the abstract field of general AI. Attendees were introduced to the distinctions of machine learning, deep learning, and laying the foundation for practical applications in their operations.
Additionally, AI’s immediate impact on business operations was explored, using case studies to show how it has transformed supply chain optimisation, improved inventory management, and streamlined shipping processes through its ability to predict demand patterns, minimise costs, and expedite delivery times.
The AI in Business, Shipping and Logistics workshop is the SAJ’s latest offering to address areas of need within the maritime and allied industries. Previously, the association offered trainings in customer service, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and the Data Protection Act, among others, this year.