INDUSTRY INSIDER | April 18, 2024

The Latest in Construction AI in 2024

Introduction

In today’s rapidly evolving construction industry, the integration of Artificial Intelligence stands at the front and centre when we think about the future. In this article we dive into several use cases of how it’s being used in 2024, asking the key question of whether it can really help you solve key challenges you face on your projects today.

What are the main applications of AI in construction today?

1) Predictive analytics

Construction data is all around us on our projects, material costs, lead times, dimensions and the very words of our documents and reports. Predictive analytics aims to harness this data in AI models to provide us with insights and forecasts so we can avoid potentially costly mistakes and errors which we as humans can not foresee.

 

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2) Robotics

Autonomous surveying drones, concrete spraying robots and even self driving construction vehicles are all at the forefront of this technology. Often using ‘vision intelligence’ AI models, these systems rely on image recognition to detect, record site conditions and take appropriate actions with need of continuous human control. This technology frees us workers to focus on other tasks and protect them from entering potentially harmful environments.

 

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3) Monitoring and tracking

Information on construction projects is constantly changing, whether it’s new documents, sensors installed on the site reporting new information or even email correspondence being received. Generative AI is capable of assimilating this mass of data to coordinate the project and keep everyone in the loop of new information

But the key question, is the technology mature enough to give me an advantage over competitors?

Yes and no, companies like Civils.ai report case studies that their technology is capable of saving 1-2 hours per day and tens of thousands of dollars in a few short months by automatically coordinating the latest construction information amongst construction project teams, making the latest project details searchable. With clients including AECOM, ARUP and Jacobs beginning to adopt this technology there is evidence to support that despite it being an emerging technology that it has the potential to really help projects deliver better outcomes. But like any technology it depends on adoption and usage to really deliver real savings to a team.

Are there any major risks with me using the technology?

As with any new technology it comes with risks which must be considered. Most of all, AI models are probabilistic, meaning that they are always guessing an outcome, even when guessing 99.999% accurately, it still breaks from the industry tradition of hard numbers which an Engineer or construction professional is held accountable for.

Conclusion

 

As we stand on the forefront of a new age of technology in construction, one thing is certain and that is it will reinforce that  lifelong learning throughout our careers is a must and adapting to new approaches will be key. In a similar way to us looking back to the days before the internet, or the days before mobile phones, or in our industry the days before CAD, we will similarly look back to the days before AI.

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