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“Smartizing” shipping: Samsung Heavy Industries develops a chatbot

South Korean shipbuilding company Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has developed SBOT, an artificial intelligence-based chatbot, and applied it to a ship design, stepping up efforts to strengthen its digitalisation.

Illustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 license

Chatbots, which have been recently introduced in businesses with customer service work including financial and public institutions, are also being used in the shipbuilding industry.

SHI’s SBOT is a compound word of Samsung and Chatbot, and when a user asks a question in natural language, AI analyzes the meaning and provides optimal answers by finding lessons learned, various regulations and contract information accumulated in in-house systems.

Therefore, new workers can perform their tasks quickly and accurately with SBOT, and they can maximize the use of design information via the knowledge search function, according to SHI.

The chatbot includes an automation function that can easily handle repetitive tasks with a simple command by interconnecting it with robotic process automation (RPA).

For example, design personnel can reduce simple repetitive tasks such as searching for drawing and managing plans, which helps focus on important tasks, to contribute to reducing lead time and improving quality.

The South Korean shipbuilder plans to upgrade it to SBOT with mobile usage environment and voice recognition function and expand its application to management support and purchase in order to strengthen support for production.

In particular, SHI will advance chatbot services by interfacing ChatGPT and SBOT.

“A goal of SHI’s smart innovation is to complete an intelligent smart shipyard based on artificial intelligence and big data,” said an official from SHI.

“We aim to smartize all the work including design, production, purchase, and support.”

To remind, in November last year, SHI inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with French software corporation Dassault Systèmes to create a “smart yard” based on new digital transformation technology. 

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Under the terms of the cooperation, Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform-based smart yard will support a digital thread integrating various data sources and real-time operations information.

The smart yard will be designed to optimize the shipyard operations’ scheduling and execution as well as streamline and automate the flow of information required for construction, to accelerate production and assembly operations.

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