The term artificial intelligence or AI can be unsettling for most people. Off the top of their head, many people think about robots taking over the human population or self-destructive devices. When coupled with construction, an industry that is notable for being slow to embrace technology, then you have reached a standstill as said industry is reluctant to change.
On one corner is AI, a bit of an unknown element but one that is also dynamic and capable of many things. On the other, there is the construction sector, a dwindling industry frequently faced with challenges that threaten workers’ safety, productivity, and resources.
But the fact remains, whether or not the construction industry decides to adopt AI, the same challenges will remain. It is in the construction industry’s best interests to take advantage of AI for the better. Here’s how AI is reinventing the construction industry.
AI Requires Little to No Supervision –
Machine learning is the main feature of artificial intelligence. This pertains to its ability to learn and improve itself without being programmed to. If a construction project hits a wall today, AI will have no problem learning about the solutions to that problem and saving it for future use without humans telling it to. It can save a lot of time and effort because it does the job efficiently and without needing intervention.
Moreover, its greatest strength lies in pattern recognition, a feat that is very useful whether it comes to creating new designs or surveying a site for potential dangers. The fact that it is a machine means it will not stop from learning and will not get tired the same way people do.
AI Enhances Overall Efficiency and Productivity –
AI’s machine learning ability makes it ideal for improving areas of prediction in construction, which is also known as the what-if scenarios. It can compute several scenarios on how to best go about a construction project. Doing this would save a lot of time and effort because the program can instantly determine whether a certain decision will lead to delays or a shortage of equipment.
That way, mishaps or delays could be avoided because a simulation has already been performed. Instead, the project would follow the best course of action, for instance, AI could determine which procedure would be more efficient instead of following traditional steps. Any mishaps, if any would probably be minor or none at all instead of a major setback. This is the key to revolutionizing major construction projects, in particular large-scale ones such as expressways or rail systems which would require multiple moving parts such as blueprints and government permits.
AI Does More Than Manage Construction Projects –
Apart from surveying, computing, and designing AI can also schedule construction projects. It would certainly lighten the load for project managers because it could easily provide them with a bird’s eye view of the entire project, with statuses and statistics, all of which are provided in real-time. That way they could easily see which parts of the project are prone to bottlenecks, which ones are often understaffed, and so on.
In addition, AI could also identify workers who are performing well and those who are not. This would allow project managers to boost morale or follow up with their workers. Another noteworthy feature is AI’s ability to determine which workers are more likely to quit. This is very handy so team leaders effectively manage their workers. They could reevaluate the current setup such as the distribution of tasks and more instead of having a worker up and quit all of a sudden.
AI Frees Up Room for Creativity –
The construction sector is often apprehensive towards technology that it fails to see the importance of AI in the construction industry in making their jobs easier whether it is ensuring workers’ safety or reducing mundane tasks. After all, AI has self-driving machines that can do simple jobs such as pouring concrete or installing drywall.
But what many don’t realize is that when there is a lot of free time, this encourages workers to boost their creativity. It gives people more time to think up new ideas and designs and play around with them. It will also be a piece of cake to create multiple variations of the same concept because AI analyzes it and decides on the best way to innovate those designs. With AI, the sky’s the limit.
AI Ensures Workers’ Safety –
If AI still makes the construction sector uneasy, then let its safety aspect be considered if not anything else. According to Safety and Health magazine, construction worker deaths have risen 41% from 2011 to 2019. It should be enough to seriously consider using AI, at least in terms of safety implications.
With AI, workers won’t have to survey the construction site themselves but use drones that could survey the area for them. AI could also analyze the captured images and monitor for any possibilities of unsafe activities. Not only that, but AI can also determine when equipment is faulty as well as direct traffic of incoming machines to avoid collisions.
The use of AI would certainly help construction workers keep a leg up in the industry. Its automation, efficiency, and productivity would give construction firms a definite advantage when it comes to planning, sourcing materials, up to the construction itself. It is easy to see AI as the enemy but think of it not as a replacement for the construction industry but as a tool to utilize to ultimately make everyone’s jobs a little easier. Besides, AI alone could not construct projects. It would not be possible without the human factor.