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November 26, 2018

Why we need more AI to deal with our crumbling infrastructures

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Do you remember the Genoa bridge that collapsed a few months ago? What if we could have avoided this tragedy by using AI…

For a $10 trillion industry, technology remains a surprisingly small part of the construction business, especially when it comes to AI.

Indeed, construction firms are behind the curve in implementing artificial intelligence solutions and while its customers are increasingly sophisticated, it remains severely under-digitized.

Moreover, the construction industry struggles with a labor shortage and declining productivity, artificial intelligence helps to fill in the gaps.

Today’s situation

Despite proven high return on investment (ROI) and widespread management interest in AI solutions, few construction companies currently have the capabilities — including the personnel, processes, and tools — to implement them.

However, things are changing…

Indeed, some specific industries, such as manufacturing or transportation have started the process of breaking down the barriers between one another and operating more as ecosystems — increasing the threat of competition from market entrants that have not traditionally been capital project players. The suppliers of the construction firms are already using AI…

Similarly, building information modeling (BIM) applications can also integrate with AI. Unlike the data generated by computer-aided design (CAD), which represent flat shapes or volumes and 2D drawings consisting of lines, BIM data represent the reality of the built structure. AI is set to evolve from BIM, by enhancing the overall design process and further improving the outcomes.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) : digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility.

This new way of digitizing the construction world is superior in operational terms, and the structure of its data is ideal for analytical purposes and the application of Machine Learning techniques.

The construction industry, long a technology laggard, is hiring data scientists to boost efficiency and help an industry in which construction workers are killed on the job five times more often than other laborers.

It appears that the industry must invest in AI. Construction firms are not reluctant to invest. is projecting a 27% increase in construction spending in the coming years. Simultaneously, the construction labor force is shrinking. Therefore, construction professionals will need to leverage AI to keep up with demand.

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