One of the important construction trends that we’re watching closely and expecting to see grow in the next decade is artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a computer or machine to utilize data to think and learn like humans. Historically, the industry’s momentum in artificial intelligence in construction has been moderate, but as we noted in a previous post, that’s very likely to change.
A recent report from Reports and Data predicts the global market for AI in construction will reach $4.51 billion by 2026, as it’s increasingly applied to various construction processes. AI has the potential to solve construction challenges such as reducing loss, improving safety and increasing productivity. Here we look at fine new uses for AI in construction.
1. Project Planning and Forecasting
AI can leverage machine learning (the ability to absorb and process data and learn from its algorithms) to forecast future events and plan projects based on historical data. Because of its ability to process complex analytics, AI can create scheduling rules and alternate project schedules based on patterns and logic collected in data. Utilizing algorithms, AI technology can predict potential timeline issues and provide a multitude of scheduling options, streamlining project planning from beginning to end. Automating simple tasks such as reminders and follow-ups allows project managers to focus on deliverables, rather than focusing on administrative tasks.
With a variety of scheduling tools available to construction businesses, and powerful analytics to provide the best possible project schedule optimization, the project planning process becomes much more accurate. Successful project planning and forecasting results in projects that are completed on time and within budget due to implementing AI during the early stages of project planning.
2. Enhanced Safety
From safety sensors that alert management to slips and falls, to risk monitoring based on jobsite assessments, AI can be used to prioritize safety on a variety of projects. AI has the unique ability to monitor workers and make safety assessments based on behavior and image recognition.
By analyzing image data and monitoring jobsite construction camera videos for potential hazards, such as missing safety gear or gaps in scaffolding, AI is capable of warning workers and managers about potentially dangerous situations in real-time. Such alerts can notify remote stakeholders of safety issues, as well. With advanced notice, they can take action to reduce the occurrence of injuries and accidents. Construction business owners can use image recognition and classification data to implement training programs and identify potentially unsafe working conditions or habits. Using AI along with construction cameras to monitor jobsites reduces risks and addresses safety threats in real time.
Using historical data to ensure maximum usage of all jobsite resources — labor, materials, equipment and so on — is an excellent use of AI. By tapping into data from previous projects, AI helps determine how much material to order for a given project, and how many hours of manpower are necessary for the project to be completed on time and within budget.
By placing sensors on equipment and materials, AI monitors performance patterns in real time and alerts managers to concerning data. Sensor data analytics can reveal insights into a variety of valuable and potentially cost-saving information that can impact how materials are stored, how often equipment is serviced or even how certain weather conditions impact performance. This data helps project managers eliminate waste, schedule maintenance, optimize operations and use resources more efficiently.
4. Addressing Labor Shortages
To boost productivity, construction companies can use AI and machine learning to evaluate the distribution of labor and machinery across multiple jobsites. AI can be used to monitor project coverage and workers’ locations in real-time, and instantly notify a project manager when staffing levels have fallen below desired productivity standards. The same system can be implemented to monitor the distribution of machinery and equipment across jobsites. In this way, AI can empower project managers to ensure projects have the manpower and equipment necessary to stay on track.
5. Increasing Jobsite Productivity
The tasks performed by AI are not meant to replace skilled labor, but rather to enable workers to concentrate on and complete higher-level, complex tasks. Self-driving machinery that can handle repetitive tasks such as bricklaying are being used on construction sites and are programmed by humans to exact jobsite specifications. By automating this type of tedious work, skilled labor can be reallocated to more important tasks.
Using construction camera solutions such as those offered by TrueLook, project managers can monitor jobsites in real time to ensure AI-powered machinery is operating optimally. Additionally, by using self-operating construction machinery, workers can avoid the health and safety issues often associated with repetitive, manual tasks.
The Time is Now for Artificial Intelligence in Construction
Investing in AI and technology will give you a competitive edge in 2020 and beyond. Progressive construction firm leaders will be looking at how to prioritize those investments based on where AI can best help them achieve their goals for safety, productivity and competitive advantage. With real-time, visual insights into jobsite operations, TrueLook cameras can assist with those assessments. To learn more, try a TrueLook camera live demo now.