Welcome to the New Year! The construction industry has an opportunity to leverage technology in new and exciting ways in the year ahead. We must consider how gen AI (artificial intelligence), digital twin, the metaverse, AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), quantum, and so much more will impact our jobsites in the year ahead.
In a recent interview on The Peggy Smedley Show, Laura Black, editor at large, Specialty Publishing Media, and I said down to talk about the hottest technologies for the year ahead. Certainly, gen AI took center stage in our conversation.
Of course, we all know AI isn’t new technology. Many consider John McCarthy to be the father of AI, when at a historic conference back in the 1950s, he brought together top researchers from various fields for an open-ended discussion on artificial intelligence. From 1957 to 1974, AI flourished, according to Harvard University.
Similar to the cellphone, which was invented back in the 1970s, mobile devices didn’t reach mass adoption until the turn of the century. Once the iPhone was popularized, prices for devices came down some (let’s be honest, they still carry a lofty price tag), devices became easier to use, and the cellphone gained greater adoption.
We are seeing the same thing happen with AI. While AI has been around for decades, gen AI is bringing it to the masses. It has made adoption easier and more affordable for many.
Still, we have to be careful because there is a lot of hype. While there are absolutely real use cases that many construction businesses cannot ignore, some of the numbers were are seeing may be inflated and grandiose—as they often are.
As we move into 2024, we must make sure we are focusing on the use cases and the opportunities for our construction businesses first and foremost.
We also must consider the worker of tomorrow. The future workforce will hopefully be more diverse, as we bring more minds into our businesses. Ultimately, the hope is it won’t be one type of person, but there will be a common thread that must span most workers across all generations. They will need to be able to leverage technology in some capacity and bring new ideas to the table.
For the year ahead, let’s focus on that business need. Let’s choose wisely. Let’s consider how technology fits into the equation. Let’s make sure lessons learned from the past year are considered in the equation. Let’s take a business process mindset to adopt AI as it evolves. Let’s remember AI is not magic, it’s a tool. Let’s remember, the opportunities are endless. Keep a keen eye on your business outcomes. Success is sure to come. Happy New Year!
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