Artificial intelligence (AI), or machine intelligence, is an area of computer science dedicated to building computers and machines that think and act like real human beings. You’ve probably heard fantastical stories about robots rising up to overtake humanity, but the truth is that AI is going to play an integral role in our future. In fact, we’re already starting to see applications across an array of industries; most recently, the construction industry.
In this two-part series, the Memphis construction attorneys from Cotney Construction Law will discuss the role of AI, specifically IBM’s Watson supercomputer, on the construction site. Although this cutting-edge technology is just being introduced in a significant capacity, researchers are already seeing remarkable results. If you want to keep up with the competition, it is imperative that you prepare your contracting business for AI so you can take advantage of this innovative technology.
The IBM and Fluor Partnership
IBM has already started making waves with their Watson supercomputer. It defeated Jeopardy champions, reconstituted recipes, and even assisted in the creation of highlight reels for the World Cup; however, Watson’s greatest achievement will undoubtedly take place on a construction site. IBM has partnered with the global engineering and construction company Fluor to put their advanced supercomputer to work on the project site. IBM and Fluor believe that Watson’s superior computational skills will facilitate more efficient building practices.
Analyzing the Project Site with Watson
The Watson-based system has been in development since 2015. Currently, this technology is being tested on select projects. It can analyze a job site by collecting and interpreting vast amounts of information pertinent to the project site. Similar to how a doctor diagnoses a patient, Watson diagnoses the project site to provide data including risk analysis and predictive logistics. Although today’s construction projects are more ambitious than ever, Watson can skillfully analyze any project, even the largest megaprojects.
Leslie Lindgren, Fluor’s vice president of Information Management commented on the complexity of today’s construction projects in an article published on Curbed. “These are multi-billion dollar project sites, that are like walking into a city,” says Lindgren. “The sheer volume of data is tremendous.”
EPC Project Health Diagnostics and the Market Dynamics/Spend Analytics
Fluor plans to utilize two new tools, the EPC Project Health Diagnostics and the Market Dynamics/Spend Analytics, to help crunch the numbers on thousands of data points pulled from construction sites. Ideally, this technology will allow contractors to forecast problems before they happen while simultaneously automating material and worker distribution. Over time, these systems will develop the ability to utilize natural language.
To learn more about these “living and breathing systems,” read part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.