Artificial Intelligence in Construction

Artificial Intelligence: How is it making the construction industry more efficient?

Although construction isn’t currently the most advanced sector when it comes to digitisation, all signs point to an increasing interest in integrating more technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is as cutting edge as technology gets today. In the construction world it is starting to power algorithms and create solutions that can help to improve and streamline the way that the sector is functioning, from reducing the potential for cost overrun to addressing safety issues.

How is AI making construction more efficient?

Currently, much of the impact of AI is purely potential, as the cost of implementing this type of innovation can be prohibitive for many firms. However, there’s no doubt that AI isn’t something that any construction business can afford to ignore, especially as its use becomes more mainstream as an efficiency tool. Some of the current ways in which AI is improving construction include:

Optimising projects

AI can assess and consider millions of options for project scheduling and delivering to create the ideal structure, tweaking and enhancing it on an ongoing basis.

Maintenance and repairs

Machine learning is capable of receiving and processing data from a broad spectrum of sources to enable it to identify solutions, reduce costs, focus on preventative maintenance and help to avoid downtime.

Evolving health and safety

Video data can be analysed an assessed by an AI to identify patterns of worker behaviours that are not safe, and to feed this into future training.

Integrating AI use from other industries

Although AI use in construction is still relatively new there are other sectors where it is much better embedded. The way AI has performed in industries such as transport and healthcare could provide inspiration and ideas for the construction sector too.

AI for diagnosis in healthcare

The same technology that is today being effectively used in illness diagnosis could provide a similar diagnostic function for construction. For example, drone imagery and 3-D-generated models could potentially be used to identify defects in structures or critical issues, such as a potential building collapse, before they occur.

Outcome forecasting in pharmaceuticals

Big pharmaceutical companies have invested significantly in predictive AI solutions focused on outcomes. In a construction context this could be applied to everything, from assessing risk to designing appropriate budgets, with the potential to create significant savings and efficiencies across a wide range of projects.

Transport reinforcement learning

Reinforcement learning is effectively machine learning that progresses on the basis of trial and error. This type of AI could bring optimum efficiency to construction projects because it’s possible to assess endless combinations, based on past data, to find the best way forward. Because this type of AI corrects and learns as it goes, it can only get more effective and efficient over time.

Currently, AI is embryonic in the construction sector and many businesses have yet to fully embrace it. However, given the potential advantages it offers when it comes to project efficiency and optimisation, it’s only a matter of time before machine learning becomes fully embedded.

At RG Group we are fully focused on the future of the industry and all the potential influencing factors.

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