Working with artificial intelligence in construction

Artificial intelligence has amplified and assisted with the development of many industries, and construction is one of the sector where AI has flourished. By using algorithms to collect and process data to draw conclusions, machines are able to perform many different tasks from the office all the way to on the actual work site. The information they gather can also be helpful during the design and planning stage of a project.

Here, Oasys, who operate within the structure design software industry give a brief overview of how far the construction industry has come thanks to the integration of artificial intelligence.

Types of AI
Artificial intelligence comes under four separate categories in the construction industry:

Stage one: planning and design
AI is a key component to the planning stage of a project. Autonomous equipment is considered as AI as it is aware of its surroundings and is capable of navigation without human input. In the planning stages, AI machinery can survey a proposed construction site and gather enough information to create 3D maps, blueprints and construction plans.
A process that used to take days or even weeks can now be completed in a single day. This helps to save firms both time and money in the form of labour.

Stage two: admin roles
Task and project management is perfect for AI to handle as well. For example, workers can input sick days, vacancies and sudden departures into a data system and it will adapt the project accordingly. The AI will understand that the task must be moved to another employee and will do so on its own accord.

Stage three: construction
With advanced databases at their disposal, AI can offer a wealth of knowledge for the upcoming project at hand. For example, if engineers were working on a proposed new bridge, AI systems would be able to advise and present a case for how the bridge should be constructed. This is based on past projects over the last 50 years, as well as verifying pre-existing blueprints for the design and implementation stages of the project. By having this information to hand, engineers can make crucial decisions based on evidence that they may not have previously had at their disposal.

AI also means vehicles can be operated at dangerous heights without a driver. Using sensors and GPS, the vehicle can calculate the safest route.

Stage four: Post – construction
Even upon completion, a building remains aided by AI in the form of internal systems. In the US alone, $1.5 billion was invested in 2016 by companies looking to capitalise on this growing market.

A good example of this is the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, which has an Amazon Echo feature in every room! These devices can be used for aspects of the room such as lighting, temperature and any audio-visual equipment contained in the room. These systems can also be used within domestic settings, allowing homeowners to control aspects of their home through voice commands and systems that control all electronic components from one device.

The continuous support of AI
In order to continue to advise on a building, building information modelling is used to (BIM) to store data regarding a construct’s creation, any decisions made regarding the building, all the way up to its demolition. Virtual assistants, also known as VAs, can then be used to add a conversational element alongside this information. By combining VAs alongside NFC (near-field communication), VAs can be given additional information to the building itself in real-time from various sensors in the building. For example, if there were structural problems with a building, then VAs could inform engineers specifically where the problem was and how it can be fixed.

There’s no doubt that AI is bringing great progress and opportunities to the construction industry. AIs can also help to replace redundant labor to allow for the industry to make efficiency savings that weren’t possible before this type of technology existed. As the future of AI becomes more of a reality within construction, only time will tell how reliant upon intelligent machines we will have to be in order to construct innovative building designs.

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