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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is top of mind at the moment. Open AI has showcased how computers can learn and create from human-delivered prompts with its ChatGPT. It’s impressive and has captured the collective imagination and curiosity of the online culture. But what exactly is AI? Is Chat GPT the apex or a subset of a much bigger technological revolution? And most importantly… how can we use AI in construction?
First things first, AI is a technology that can perform tasks usually done by a human. To give you an overview we’ll dive into three types of AI in this article — generative, automation, and predictive. Chat GPT is a subset of generative AI and falls under Natural Language Processing. To answer how AI can be used in construction, let’s look a little closer at the different types.
Automation AI involves using machines or software to automate tasks that would otherwise require human intervention. The goal is to reduce the need for human labor on mindless and repetitive tasks and increase overall efficiency.
Robotic Processing Automation (RPA)
RPA uses software robots to automate repetitive and rule-based tasks in business processes This is the most widely used form of AI in construction today, and allows companies to automate thousands of tasks within project management, accounting, human resources, payroll, billings, and cost management.
Generative AI uses machines to generate new content and output based on a set of rules of parameters. It is technology that uses the rules and parameters provided to create something new that was not produced by a human.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
This is what underpins the technology that has taken the world by storm: Chat GPT. NLP enables machines to understand, interpret, and respond to human language. NLP is used in applications such as language translation, sentiment analysis, and chatbots. In construction, this can be used to read documents such as invoices and purchase orders and perform two- and three-way matching. It can also be used to transform text from RFIs, change orders, and submittals into different formats and, combined with RPA, update relevant data from these documents across multiple applications, including owner PM systems.
Computer Vision enables machines to interpret visual information, such as images and documents, and generate output based on that. In construction, Computer Vision can be used to read invoices and purchase orders and extract information on job costs, vendors, and more. Computer Vision is often combined with RPA to extract data from invoices and update the relevant information automatically within an accounting system.
Predictive AI uses algorithms and statistical models to analyze data and make predictions or decisions based on that analysis. The goal is to use historical data to predict future outcomes or behaviors. Some examples of predictive AI include recommendation systems, fraud detection systems, and predictive maintenance systems.
Machine Learning (ML)
ML enables systems to learn from and make predictions or decisions based on data. ML is widely used in various applications, but in construction can be used to help predict revenue, labor and equipment hours, profit, and other critical financials. These ML algorithms can be built on historical performance data from a contractor to predict future outcomes.
AI is here to stay
There are various applications in construction that can help improve efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. It’s important to note that AI is not a substitute for human intelligence or expertise but rather a tool to enhance and support it. As the construction industry continues to evolve, it is important to explore and leverage the potential of AI to stay competitive and deliver on high-quality projects.
Briq’s AI can help your business automate workflows, create detailed forecasting based on historical and current data, and improve your data accuracy. Want to find out more about what Briq can do for your business? Schedule a call with our team.