Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

160 VIEWPOINT By Nick Farrell, Trimline Navigating oceans of innovation Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can make marine interior outfitting projects more streamlined, efficient and sustainable, but humans will always remain a vital part of the process Technology is advancing rapidly and so too is the world of marine interior outfitting. At Trimline, we’re always exploring new innovative ideas and technologies to improve our designs and workflows for marine interiors. Among the most transformative technologies are artificial intelligence and machine learning, both of which promise a dynamic future for our industry. In the past, AI was more frequently associated with science fiction, but the term is now commonplace in today’s technology-driven society, where it refers to a machine’s capability to mimic human intelligence, make decisions and solve problems autonomously. Advances in AI and its sister technology machine learning – the science of teaching computers to learn patterns and make increasingly smarter decisions – are redefining countless industries. The marine outfitting sector is no exception, and this shift offers businesses like Trimline a multitude of opportunities to enhance efficiency and creativity. At Trimline, we advocate progress, but we understand the critical balance between automated efficiency and valuable human creativity and expertise. We believe AI and machine learning can help to liberate our ‘human’ team from mundane, repetitive tasks, freeing up time and thinking space for more creative and complicated endeavours. As an example, we use an AI-powered text analysis tool to automatically extract key information from the 300 to 400 supplier invoices we receive every month to expedite the invoicing process. Now, when the accounts team receive the invoice, it has already been coded up into our TAPP system, which we use to manage all our projects. This saves five minutes per invoice, which amounts to 33 hours of work per month, thereby giving the accounts team extra time to deal with more nuanced tasks. Additionally, AI can offer robust support for inter-departmental communications, simplifying data sharing and tracking, which significantly improves operations and productivity. For example, using AI tools to automatically transcribe meeting notes saves countless hours of minute-taking and speeds up the process of assigning tasks and actions. The design phase is another area of our operation ripe for AI assistance. When crafting a marine interior, inspiration is a vital ingredient. There’s an exciting new generation of AI-driven tools to help stimulate our design imagination. A revolutionary example is Midjourney, a tool which allows creators to visualise and explore concept spaces, rapidly manipulating layouts and décor elements. Having built AI-powered concept tools into TAPP (under the Concept Box name), our team can type descriptions of the elements they would like to see in their design concepts and the AI will rapidly generate intricate visual representations in real time. These dynamic and interactive images offer an instantaneous feedback loop, allowing designers to sit with our clients and quickly and efficiently experiment with ideas until they develop the perfect vision. In some cases, Concept Box has cut down weeks of the traditional backand-forth design conversations into a two-hour brainstorming session. AI also enhances our abilities to review and analyse manufacturing processes within the marine interior outfitting industry. By harnessing machine learning algorithms, we can efficiently scrutinise existing production methods to identify areas for improvement and opportunities for increased elegance. Through comprehensive data analysis and pattern recognition, we hope to improve workflows, minimise waste and enhance overall productivity. The adoption of AI also brings a new dimension to the way we choose materials for marine interiors. Traditional material selection has often been based on limited criteria, but AI empowers us to consider multiple “ We understand the critical balance between automated efficiency and valuable human creativity and expertise”