Preconstruction + Technology
The buzz around various tech terms has grown and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most frequently discussed topics this year. Although AI has been around for quite some time, advancements in language learning models coupled with innovative and refined ways to use the technology have sparked a revolution in how companies and individuals execute daily tasks. This article aims to provide general information on the topic of AI and, more specifically, shed light on how AI is being utilized across the construction industry.
What is AI?
AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is a field of computer science dedicated to creating systems capable of tasks like learning, reasoning, and problem-solving, often associated with human intelligence. Contrary to the popular perception of robots taking over, AI encompasses diverse applications. Services provided can range from basic tasks like extracting information from documents and parsing text to more advanced uses such as virtual assistants and recommendation systems. While AI has a historical presence in technology, recent advancements in machine learning have propelled it to new heights, even though we are still far from achieving human-like general intelligence.
How does AI work?
AI operates using machine learning models, including language models, which are trained on large datasets to understand and generate human-like text. These models use statistical patterns and algorithms to process and generate responses, compared to the human brain’s reliance on personal experiences. Because machine models don’t have personal history to draw upon, they rely solely on available data to answer questions and provide feedback.
How is AI being utilized in the construction industry today?
To Boost Efficiency – AI is making construction projects more efficient than ever before. One of the most significant impacts of AI in construction is through predictive analytics, which aids in project planning and management. By analyzing historical data and real-time information, AI can predict potential delays and cost overruns, allowing for proactive decision-making by project teams. Additionally, AI-driven robots and drones are being used for tasks such as site inspections and material deliveries, reducing the need for human labor in potentially hazardous situations.
AI-Powered Design and Planning – Architects and engineers are now using AI algorithms to optimize building designs for factors like energy efficiency, structural integrity, and even aesthetics. These algorithms consider thousands of design variations to arrive at the most efficient and cost-effective solutions. This not only saves time but also minimizes resource waste during the construction phase. Furthermore, AI-enhanced Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems enable real-time collaboration and data sharing among project stakeholders, improving communication and project coordination.
Safety and Quality Assurance – AI is playing a pivotal role in enhancing safety and quality assurance on construction sites. Computer vision technology combined with sensors can detect potential safety hazards and defects in real-time. Automated machinery equipped with AI algorithms can perform tasks with precision, reducing errors and accidents. This application of AI not only ensures the well-being of workers but also leads to higher-quality construction outcomes.
The Future of AI
It is hard to predict how the great minds of this generation will leverage AI in the future. Since this technology is constantly evolving, BE&K Building Group’s Construction Technology Group is continuously researching and finding new ways for our company to optimize the use of today’s latest technologies. While we can’t predict where AI is headed in the future, and neither can AI itself, we can say with certainty that we will keep you informed of any new developments in the field of AI as they arise and are pertinent to our industry.
At the recent Procore Groundbreak 2023 conference, Procore made an announcement that they are partnering with Microsoft to implement a new AI feature directly into Procore called Copilot. Users will be able to work with a chatbot to have the system create change orders, write RFIs, follow up on submittals, and much more. Procore is also partnering with a software called Document Crunch to be able to use AI to analyze contracts for risk and compare terms with historical agreements.
In conclusion, the influence of AI in the construction industry is profound and multifaceted. It is reshaping the way we plan, design, and execute construction projects. As AI technology continues to advance, we can anticipate even greater improvements in efficiency, safety, and sustainability in the construction sector. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in this rapidly evolving field.