2038: A Smart Port Story

A Review of 2038 Richard Joy, Consulting Editor, PTI

Writing what is in essence a book review isn’t something I thought I’d find myself doing at Port Technology. As we’re a publisher of academic, technical content, I was a little unsure of what to make of the idea when presented with a 7,000 prose piece written by Dr Eva Savelsberg and Matthew Wittemeier of INFORM (and that was only part one, I was told!). However, having read plenty of INFORM papers and knowing their propensity for breaking the mould with enterprising papers that synergize contemporary cutting-edge terminal operations with the dystopian visions from high-literature and Sci-Fi classics, I was more than willing to take a look at what they’d created.

What I found was a delight. A piece of writing that took the concept of futuristic port operations and turned the way in which we look at them on its head. In literary terms, 2038: A Smart Port Story is a short story following our protagonist ‘Douglas’, an upper-mid-level INTERPOL employee interrupted on his holiday in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa of Iceland by a serious incident in the local Port of Reykjavik. Douglas is aware of a growing ‘anti-tech’ movement that he fears could be tipped into revolt by the incident, which is allegedly down to an AI-controlled machine running into a human.

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Part I

Start the 2038 journey with Douglas at the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik as he's called away to the Port of Reykjavik to unravel an incident threatening to push human vs technology protests over the edge.

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Part II

As Douglas digs deeper into the incident, moving closer to identifying what's happend, he must go through the complexity of the technology and AI systems of 2038 and their impact around them.

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Part III

The epic conclusion of 2038 follows Douglas as he uncovers key clues leading him to an unexpected outcome while Emma oversees the RPA terminal operations where things are not as they should be.

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