by Ro Bhatia
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is nothing new but with generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT continuing to spark conversations around the world, the concept of AI and its uses is growing in popularity and curiosity. Bloomberg estimates that mentions of AI and its related phrases have increased by 77% since last year by businesses across nearly every vertical.
The construction industry is no different, and AI is being increasingly used in the construction industry to improve productivity, safety, and efficiency. According to a recent Pymnts and American Express report, 30% of construction firms plan on investing in technology to help them save time and capital. By leveraging AI, general contractors and subcontractors can be better advised on the necessary components of a potential project in the early stages, increasing the possibility of successful bids while lowering the chances of project overruns so they can maintain their bottom lines and profits.
Innovation Meets Construction
While the construction industry has historically been a late adopter of technology, those that have embraced the best tools have reaped the rewards of greater efficiency, accuracy, and speed. In addition, more progressive companies are more likely to be on the leading edge of adoption, offsetting costs, streamlining simple but time-consuming processes, and improving operational efficiency. For the contractors and subcontractors that haven’t yet, they’re beginning to understand the urgency of implementing this technology early rather than playing catch-up later. What was seen as a “nice to have” has become a “must have.”
AI Begins with Data
As with all new technology, human oversight is required to ensure the proper use of data sets because AI is only as effective as the data that’s put in. Construction professionals must be deeply involved in these initial stages to craft the tasks, data, and inputs to ensure this technology achieves its potential and creates efficiencies in planning, design, operations, and more.
AI provides contractors and subcontractors with predictive analytics and is used to analyze historical data and predict future events, such as project delays or equipment breakdowns. This helps construction companies to better plan and manage their projects. In addition, AI speeds up data analysis and helps project teams make faster, better decisions with greater certainty.
AI on the Job
AI can detect potential design flaws or clashes before construction begins, reducing the risk of costly rework. Once construction has started, AI-powered equipment such as drones, excavators, and bulldozers can operate autonomously, reducing the need for human labor and increasing safety. Regarding the construction process’s safety and quality control aspects, AI-powered cameras and sensors can monitor construction sites for safety hazards such as falls or other accidents. These systems can alert workers in real-time and help prevent accidents before they occur. In addition, AI can be used to analyze construction materials and detect defects before they are installed, helping improve the quality of construction.
To wrap up, AI can potentially bring about significant changes in the construction industry. With its ability to analyze vast amounts of data and perform complex tasks, AI can help improve productivity, safety, and efficiency in construction projects. It can also enable better decision-making, reduce costs, and speed up the completion of projects. However, the successful implementation of AI in the construction industry requires significant investment and collaboration between various stakeholders. With the right approach and resources, AI can transform the construction industry and pave the way for a more innovative and sustainable future.
Ro Bhatia is the CEO of PlanHub.