Artificial Intelligence in the Construction Industry
When talking about Artificial Intelligence (A.I), there are generally two opposing points of view. The first being that an A.I can make our daily lives much easier. The second is that we are going to end up in a future that’s similar to the Terminator. I cannot see our current A.I programs, Siri for example, taking over the world since it can’t tell the difference between an “apple” and an “ample.” A.I technology, however, is developing more as time goes on, and with advancements toward artificial intelligence being made every day, they’re beginning to enter into a variety of industries, including construction, which is hardly a surprise.
Benefits of A.I
Machines and/or power tools have proven time and time again that they’re able to provide greater efficiency and quality to a construction project. The biggest thing that seems to be hurting the current construction industry is the shortage of skills; this is where an A.I can provide a solution.
These intellectual tools are able to assess worksites and complete jobs that may be too dangerous for human workers to do even with safety supplies and protection. Nottingham Trent University, for example, revealed a pair of e-gloves that can warn the user of any vibrations nearby. [Source]
The purpose of the gloves is to prevent the wearer from getting carpal tunnel syndrome that can be caused by this pulsation. Construction workers that regularly use power tools are more likely to experience a vibration in their hands. This can be very dangerous depending on what tool he/she is working with at the time. These e-gloves will vocally warn the user when their vibration levels are too high and prompt them to stop what they are doing immediately. [Source]
Opposition to A.I
Artificial Intelligence has a lot of benefits, and you can see why people have such a good view of it. On the other hand, the opposition also has good reasons for their objections. One reason is that we may end up creating an A.I that will go rogue. But, in reality, the main reason is that A.I machines still have trouble when they run into a human obstacle.One machine, for example, is able to lay six times more brick than your standard worker although the machine is not able to adapt to certain angles.
So in order for the machine to work properly, it’s going to require two workers instead of one. One to feed the bricks to the A.I and another to help lay the bricks at difficult angles
This proves that a machine is not always able to predict what will happen, especially in a fast-paced worksite. In addition, there’s the concern that a loss of taxation and national insurance could affect the upkeep of essential infrastructures.
There are some theories, from Forbes Magazine for instance, that artificial intelligences will increase productivity by 40% and economic growth by 1.7%. While these theories say A.I machines will be entering the construction industry eventually, it doesn’t say what happens to your standard worker. As previously stated, with the brick laying machine, A.I seems to always need someone to oversee what’s happening with these tools. While technology has and will continue to be entering industries, it seems like they will not be able to act on their own without humans picking up on and fixing what they are unable to account for, but we don’t know for sure.
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