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Welcome to our news and blog section. Here you will find the latest updates from theICEway and our IT specialists at ICE. We are frequently invited to attend and speak at industry events, so if you don’t want to miss out on those, this is the page for you.

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Sea Change: Exploring AI's new role in the cruise industry

by Colm Bushell | May 3, 2024 | Cruise & Maritime | 0 Comments

Judgement day is approaching but not in the form of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's completely understandable to have reservations about the integration of AI. If pop culture has taught us anything, it's that AI is the villain, threatening humanity with its superior intelligence and power. However, this is not necessarily the case as AI is incapable of possessing intrinsic desires. In essence, it lacks the capacity to want something or be driven by any motivation. The software functions according to the goals established by the people who created it. It should come as no surprise that AI is going to play a huge part of our everyday lives moving forward. This blog will be focusing specifically on its effect on the cruise industry.

How will AI benefit the cruise industry?


Like most individuals will have on their phone, facial recognition has become a very efficient method of identification. Consequently, AI will use facial recognition to locate where someone is or has been onboard the ship. For example, finding someone who may be in danger or someone that means harm to the other passengers onboard. AI will also be able to monitor the ship around the clock without human involvement. This eliminates the likelihood of human error or a disturbance occurring in a human blind spot. Thus, ensuring enhanced security measures onboard and keeping both the passengers and crew safe.

Energy efficiency

The automation process will revolutionize the cruise industry by pinpointing sustainable practices that can significantly reduce the carbon footprint. Despite seeming insignificant, onboard lighting contributes to 5-15% of the ship's total energy consumption. With AI in control, lights in areas with minimal human activity can be dimmed or switched off, leading to an estimated 10% decrease in onboard energy usage. This advanced technology allows for precise adjustments where needed, marking a significant step towards environmental conservation in the cruise sector.

Improved Customer Service

AI has the capability to analyse the behaviours and preferences of each individual, allowing for a personalized onboard experience. This could include tailored excursions or customized dining menus that perfectly align with each individual's unique characteristics and preferences. Nowadays, when going on most company websites you are introduced by a 24/7 chatbot. The majority of these chatbots are simplistic and are not able to resolve issues as efficiently as a human operator. Nevertheless, in the coming years, these chatbots will be so advanced customers will be unable to distinguish the difference between the software and a customer service operator. Chatbots will also be programmed to resolve countless more issues that a human support would be incapable of. Every solution provided would be correct which removes the opportunity for human error.

Health and Safety measures

Both crew and passengers will be able to wear health monitoring devices that have AI programming configurations. These devices can monitor the user's current state of health and identify future issues before they occur. With access to a user's complete medical history, the software can diagnose issues more efficiently than a healthcare professional. In cases of unique allergic reactions, a healthcare provider may not immediately pinpoint the cause. However, the AI system, equipped with real-time access to the passenger's medical records and current vitals through a wearable device, can swiftly identify the necessary medication or treatment, providing a solution in mere seconds.

Potential Drawbacks

Cyber Security issues

If the programming is compromised to a cyber-attack, this may put the passenger’s personal information and safety at risk. To nullify this risk, strong data encryption methods will be put into place to protect the customers data. Meaning, that even if hackers managed to get access to the data, it would be completely useless without the correct decryption keys. Additionally, cruise lines will regularly update software and security systems with the latest security patches. This will tackle any flaws in the current security system. Cyber security must constantly evolve to handle newly emerging cyber threats.

Ethical decision making

Since AI systems are programmed by an individual, the coding is susceptible to the bias of the developer. This means that their decision making will be programmed base off what the programmer deems right and wrong. This raises issues as a scenario may arise that has ethical implications. In the event of an emergency, AI may need to decide who to prioritize for rescue or medical assistance. To prevent any questioning of the AI’s code of ethics, cruise lines will need to establish clear guidelines and policies for this software. This will ensure there is complete transparency to the people onboard.

Workforce displacement

It is widely known that as AI becomes more prevalent, certain roles may be replaced by automation due to its superior efficiency compared to human labour. AI will be able to take over rolls such as cleaning, maintenance and even customer service. While this may result in a reduction in costs for cruise lines, it can raise concerns about job security for human workers. However, this opens doors to many other roles in design and maintenance for these AI systems. There will still need to be an element of human touch to the ships otherwise the passengers will not receive an authentic experience. Part of the reason people go cruising is for the great interactions with other guests and staff. Nobody wants to talk to a computer.

In Conclusion

It is still in its development stages at the minute and is not fully refined. However, as an IT specialist company, we believe that AI will be an extremely useful tool in the coming years. If you would like to find out more about how AI is transforming other industries, there is a great case study by Brookings. We believe it is worth taking a look if you are interested in the topic, please visit: How artificial intelligence is transforming the world | Brookings.

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