has signed a deal with Google to develop further its intelligent awareness
systems which are making existing vessels safer and are essential to making
autonomous ships a reality, says a release on 3 October 2017.
agreement, believed to be the first in the marine sector, was signed today 3
October 2017 at the Google Cloud Summit in Sweden. It allows Rolls-Royce to use
Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to further train the company’s
artificial intelligence (AI) based object classification system for detecting,
identifying and tracking the objects a vessel can encounter at sea.
Cloud Machine Learning Engine uses the same neural net-based machine
intelligence software which powers many of Google’s products including image
and voice search.
Learning is a set of algorithms, tools and techniques that mimic human learning
to solve specific problems. Machine learning methods analyse existing data sets
with the objective of learning to recognise patterns in training data, making
predictions from previously unseen data.
the data set the more complex the patterns the model can recognise and the more
accurate the predictions. Today, well trained machine learning models can
perform predictive analytics faster and better than a human.
will use Google Cloud’s software to create bespoke machine learning models
which can interpret large and diverse marine data sets created by Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce’s expertise in the maritime sector will be used to prepare the data
to train models, ensuring that it is relevant and in sufficient quantity to
create statistical significance. As part of the machine learning process, the
models’ predictions are evaluated in practical marine applications, allowing
the models to be further refined.
accessing this software through the Cloud, the models can be developed from
anywhere in the world and are immediately accessible globally allowing
thousands of users. Models can therefore be trained on large quantities
(terabytes) of data. This will be essential as autonomous ships become
longer term, Rolls-Royce and Google intend to undertake joint research on
unsupervised and multimodal learning. The two companies will also test whether
speech recognition and synthesis are viable solutions for human-machine
interfaces in marine applications. They will also work on optimizing the
performance of local neural network computing on board ships using open source
machine intelligence software libraries such as Google’s TensorFlow.
awareness systems will make vessels safer, easier and more efficient to operate
by providing crew with an enhanced understanding of their vessel’s
surroundings. This will be achieved by fusing data from a range of sensors with
information from existing ship systems, such as Automatic Identification System
(AIS) and radar. Data from other sources, including global databases, will also
have a role.