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METIS: Groundbreaking maritime chatbot

Greek maritime technology firm METIS Cyberspace Technology reckons it can transform the management of shipping fleets via its latest maritime cyber solutions.

The company was founded in 2016 by a team of seven scientists and engineers with extensive experience in the shipping sector and strong backgrounds in research. The company specialises in the fields of electronics engineering, IoT, cloud computing and artificial intelligence for the needs of global shipping.

METIS recently launched Cyber Personal Assistant for vessel monitoring and management, the world’s first ever chatbot for maritime. The METIS ChatBOT communicates in a human-like interface. METIS interacts with users exchanging text messages in English, monitoring continuosly, issuing occasional alerts and answering questions promptly and responding to requests or preparing and submitting extensive reports.

“Nowadays, technology allows us to move the vessel to the center, to secure the reliability of the data gathered and directly access the right persons in the company with the right information, at the right time. However, most of the available Internet of Things products addressing maritime, are based on outmoded architectures and interfaces. Dashboards with fancy graphs are useful sometimes, but do not provide actual solutions to the stakeholders apart from data visualisation,” says Mike Konstantinidis, CEO of METIS.

Konstantinidis reckons the maritime industry has always been cautious, hesitant and sceptical about information communication technologies (ICT), but the mindset has to change as the employment of advanced technologies and techniques is increasingly a necessity nowadays to enable data driven decision making, better predictions and faster diagnostics, reducing the risk of failures, accidents and ensuring compliance to environmental regulations.

“In the past, shipping had a delay in adopting modern technologies due to deficiencies in the communications field. Now, more than ever, we have the proper solid ground to build value-adding applications, addressing the specific requirements of maritime,” Konstantinidis argues.

For future developments, METIS has also formed a strategic partnership with the ACOEM Group and REA in order to develop a condition-based monitoring service. According to Konstantinidis, the new service will incorporate the expertise of the three companies, offering shipping companies on a global level an innovative application which will be able to detect problems aboard each ship much faster than any other method and before these problems turn into major issues, and it will eventually transform the management of shipping fleets.

Konstantinidis observes that only recently the industry has seen a change with more companies requesting information and expressing interest in cyber technology solutions to help them reduce costs and the complexity coming from the increasing demand for the adoption of the new regulations, as well as to improve crew efficiencies and productivity.

“This trend is led by the awareness they now have, that the only way to be competitive is to be technologically ahead. Companies not willing to adopt this approach run the risk of falling far behind or being left by the wayside,” Konstantinidis concludes.

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