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Where Does AI Fit In?

Artificial intelligence—the AI everybody is talking about—has been around for a while now, in forms ranging from child-like to robust, and many people are focused on finding something for AI to do besides write college term papers. And misdirect people seeking advice on the internet.

The current AI generation being talked about is the “chatbot” variation. Basically, a search engine on steroids—and employed as such by search site like Bing and Google—and employing LLM (large language models), chatbots have become the face of AI in the minds of many. A large language model consists of a neural network with many parameters (typically billions of weights or more), trained on large quantities of unlabeled text using self-supervised learning or semi-supervised learning.

Ask it and the chatbot will find an answer almost immediately by filtering billions of data points from around the internet. Not necessarily accurate answers but quick ones presented in an authoritarian manner. However, AI has many other applications and is, if you pardon the pun, searching for more. Markets from K-12 schools to quantum computing laboratories are eagerly adopting AI engines, like ChatGPT 4, to help.

The construction industry has traditionally been labor-intensive and has lagged behind other industries in adopting new technologies. However, with the advancement of AI, the construction industry is now embracing the use of intelligent systems, which has led to improved efficiency, increased productivity, and reduced costs. AI-powered systems can optimize the design process in the construction industry by analyzing vast amounts of data, identifying patterns and trends, and recommending the most efficient designs. This can help architects and engineers make better decisions and produce more effective designs.

While writers worry about AI taking their jobs, AI in construction is presently focused on saving lives and profits. Robots can swing hammers; AI technology can be used to streamline tasks and lower their inherent hazards. It is being used in the construction sector to make jobsites safer for human laborers and cut expenses for the business. The implementation of artificial intelligence to improve worker safety on building sites and lessen health risks in the construction industry is expected to drive the global artificial intelligence in construction market growth in the coming years.

Securing Safety

In 2020, one in every five worker deaths per year were recorded from the construction sector according to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Admin.). Obviously, it is important to address the increasing fatality rate at building sites. Construction sites and workers are typically outfitted with safety equipment such as safety harnesses for high work and hardhats or helmets for workers at every level. In addition, cameras, sensors, and IoT devices that detect various aspects of construction activities—and alert the crew if a safety issue is likely to occur—are more becoming common.

According to Research Dive, these factors are anticipated to boost the artificial intelligence in construction market share in the upcoming years. They predict the global artificial intelligence in construction market size to be valued at $8,545.80 million by 2031, surging from $496.40 million in 2021, at an impressive CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 34.1%.

But there is a warning involved, too. The work that needs to be done in the construction industry with the aid of artificial intelligence requires both technical and domain knowledge to produce the desired results. If the worker does not have a solid understanding of those factors, the entire project and off-site construction work fails. That can result in a significant loss for the business and subject the business to several project-related challenges.

Market participants specializing in AI in construction are consistently investing in R&D to advance the technology used in AI-integrated building and construction equipment. For instance, in March 2020, Newmetrix’s AI engine, named “Vinnie,” was upgraded with additional features like the ability to detect workers in a group and identify work-at-height concerns. Newmetrix’s cloud-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to highlight construction problems focused on project safety, attracted attention, and resulted in it being bought by software giant Oracle in 2022.

Along Came COVID

Artificial intelligence in construction has been greatly influenced by COVID-19. The pandemic had an impact on construction because, in some areas, the sector was entirely shut down, leading to a reduction in employment. It is possible to connect the slowing expansion of the global AI in construction market to the growing need to uphold COVID-19 safety measures such as social segregation to stop the virus from spreading.

Lower market cash flow had a substantial negative influence on the construction industry, which has led to certain construction firms ceasing operations due to a lack of financial liquidity. The potential for the global AI in construction market has been lowered as a result of the adoption of work-from-home models during the pandemic. The importance of enterprises’ digital transformation projects, including the AI-enabled machinery, has decreased as a result.

However, increasing investments in cutting-edge technologies, like AI, to develop remote operating capabilities, like industrial robots, process automation, autonomous material movement, and predictive maintenance and machinery inspection, has been suggested by a number of AI and automation experts as a way to lower worker density.

AI can help with all phases of a construction project, from design and planning to managing operations and creating safer work areas. In the construction industry, AI is already demonstrating its value with a new degree of automation and workflow efficiency. This element is also driving market growth.

Additionally, using AI and machine intelligence on construction sites lowers the possibility of accidents. AI systems can anticipate problems with safety, quality, and productivity since they can swiftly receive and evaluate massive amounts of data in realtime.

AI is not only capable of seeing risky behavior or potential risks on the jobsite, but it can also foresee machine malfunctions using sensor data and decide what corrective measures to take. This lowers the likelihood of mishaps and increases worker safety on construction sites.

But It’s Not Cheap

Using a machine to perform a task is neither simple nor inexpensive. The use of artificial intelligence-based robots, for example, can be quite expensive because they are extremely complicated pieces of equipment that cost a lot to fix and maintain. To meet the demands of the continuously changing environment, they have software programs that require periodic updating. As a result, only large businesses will be able to invest.

Digital transformation in construction is another factor fueling the AI expansion. The development of digital knowledge has been rapid during the past five years as a result of increased use of BIM (building information systems), digital twins, security sensors, drones, and machine telematics. This typically motivates construction firms to use cutting-edge analytic tools to fully leverage the enormous amount of data now available to them and to gain insights.

Drones, robots, and autonomous vehicles are being used more and more in the construction industry, which is assisting AI’s expansion in this sector. A large number of construction companies are using these technologies to map, take aerial photos, assess construction sites, and automate development procedures. This frequently creates a wide range of opportunities.

Dividing the Challenges

Based on offerings, the AI market has been divided into solutions and services. Among these, the solutions sub-segment accounted for the highest marketshare in 2021, whereas the services sub-segment is estimated to show the fastest growth going forward.

The solutions sub-type: Building and construction companies are increasingly using AI solutions to complete various construction projects. The construction process is becoming more efficient due to AI and that has important applications in areas like supply chain management, project planning, and risk management. These are predicted to be the major factors driving the AI in construction marketsize.

The services sub-type is anticipated to show the fastest growth. Artificial intelligence in construction services is being used to monitor the interactions between personnel, equipment, and items at the jobsite in realtime and notify managers of any potential safety hazards, design flaws, or productivity problems. The use of AI services in construction is growing, which increases the demand for worker training and for proper technology installation and maintenance.

Based on deployment type, the market has been divided into cloud and on-premises. Among these, the on-premises sub-segment accounted for the highest market size in 2021 and the cloud sub-segment should account for fastest growth in 2031.

The cloud sub-segment is anticipated to show the fastest growth during the forecast period. Some of the main benefits of employing a cloud deployment include flexibility, disaster recovery, automated software upgrades, capital expense-free, increased collaboration, work from anywhere, document management, security, competitiveness, and environmental friendliness. Investors are also supporting the creation of computer-aided virtual environments that will provide customers, architects, and builders with a virtual experience of a buildings. These factors are anticipated to boost the growth of cloud sub-segments during the analysis timeframe.

The large enterprises sub-segment accounted for the highest market size in 2021. Large enterprises are anticipated to hold a larger market share as a result of the construction industry’s rising investment in artificial intelligence. Many companies have developed artificial intelligence solutions for the large enterprises operating in the construction sector. For instance, Procore Technologies provides historical analysis for more accurate forecasts and makes use of machine learning to identify patterns and extract trends from larger information. These factors are anticipated to boost the growth of large enterprises sub-segment during the analysis timeframe.

Location, Location, Location

Based on industry type, the market has been divided into residential, institutional, commercials and others. Among these, the others sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2021.

The others sub-segment accounted for the highest market size in 2021. Buildings such as stadiums, schools, hospitals, malls, libraries, art galleries, and museums are examples of constructions that fall under this category. Public structures, including hospitals, schools, and recreation facilities, largely use artificial intelligence in construction services and solutions to ensure timely complete of projects. These factors are anticipated to boost the growth of the others sub-segment during the analysis timeframe.

AI technologies are successfully employed in North America for a wide range of applications, including supply chain management, risk management, schedule management, project management, and others (equipment and construction materials management, resource management, subcontractor management, and cost management). Furthermore, the region’s dominance is due to its advanced technological infrastructure and the presence of many major AI companies in the area’s construction industry.

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