How AI and Machine Learning are Changing Construction

As a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning is changing construction for the better. Construction is known for having a higher rate of accidents than other industries, and many companies are employing machine learning algorithms to reduce their risk. Although safety is a major concern in construction, so are productivity and efficiency. 

Here’s how AI and machine learning are helping to improve these important aspects of construction.

AI is taking safety in construction to a new level

Although the construction industry is considered one of the most dangerous professions, it’s continually getting safer. For instance, the introduction of quick release couplings finally made it safer to change attachments without having to worry about high-pressure fluid injection injuries. 

Often, people who experience fluid injection injuries don’t realize what happened. The injury appears to be a cut from a wire. Meanwhile, the fluid is already starting to cause serious health problems that can be fatal.

Although mechanical construction parts are being engineered to increase safety, many companies are also using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to increase safety.

Construction workers have an on-the-job death rate five times higher than any other industry. The majority of construction deaths are caused by falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught in between machines and equipment. These types of accidents seem hard to predict and prevent, but AI makes it easier.

For example, some companies use an algorithm that analyzes photos from job sites and identifies safety hazards like workers not wearing protective equipment. The AI-powered software then analyzes the construction company’s safety records to calculate the risks of the project.

AI is helping to increase efficiency in construction

One of the things that makes construction projects efficient is having all the administrative tasks taken care of quickly. When people have to perform these duties, it can take much longer than if it’s handled by software that uses machine learning.

Machine learning is being used in construction to streamline administrative processes, like collecting and analyzing data. However, it’s also being used to classify documents and work orders, and assess job site conditions in real-time.

When machine learning handles the grunt work of administrative duties for a construction project, the result is higher efficiency. Software calculations are more accurate than human calculations, which means data-driven decisions will be more accurate. Also, with more of the tedium being handled by software, admins are able to focus their attention on more important duties.

AI is helping to increase productivity in construction

Construction companies can suffer from lack of productivity just like any other business. One of the key reasons a construction company might struggle with productivity is because of labor shortages. Thankfully, AI is helping with that.

Data experts say that construction companies can increase productivity by up to 50% by capturing and analyzing real-time data. This makes machine learning one of the best tools a construction company could possibly invest in for the long term.

In construction, real-time data collection comes from a robot (like Spot the Dog) that continually evaluates job progress along with the number of workers present in each area. This data tells managers if there’s a shortage of workers anywhere, which gives them the ability to bring in more labor right away. The result is fewer projects getting delayed.

AI can help with predictive maintenance, too

Artificial intelligence can help construction companies stay on top of predictive maintenance, which directly impacts efficiency and productivity. For example, it can identify patterns that precede failures in order to predict certain malfunctions.

AI-powered software can also help a construction company keep track of regular service requirements and make recommendations for altering the way equipment gets used in order to maximize its useful life.

Productivity, efficiency, and safety are tied to data

Machine learning benefits construction because it’s a highly accurate way to collect and analyze data. Whether that data is collected from images, video, or sensors, it’s all valuable to the construction company.

Data is used to make important business decisions, but it’s also used to assess the factors that impact construction projects. In this way, AI and machine learning are some of the best tools for identifying areas where a construction company can improve to boost efficiency and productivity.