New guidance on AI and construction issued

A new playbook on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the construction industry has been published by the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) Digital and Innovation Advisory Panel.

CIOB is an international professional body for those working in the construction industry, which was established in 1834, and has 48,000 members across 100 countries dedicated to leading a cultural shift in the built environment.

It has been written for built environment organisations of all sizes seeking to get to grips with AI technology and understand how to get the best from it. It includes ways to evaluate its effectiveness, while also considering matters such as ethics, cyber security and data protection. There is also a checklist to support new entrants, early adopters and experienced AI practitioners in making decisions about their use of the technology.

The playbook references how AI has the potential to revolutionise working processes for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by enabling them to compete at a larger scale. It says through use of AI, SMEs can tap into capabilities that were once only available to large construction organisations, meaning they can compete on a more level playing field.

It also addresses industry concerns and misunderstandings about AI’s impact on the jobs market. It says AI in construction can enhance human capabilities rather than replace them as its use requires a certain level of user skill and understanding meaning many existing roles will evolve – transitioning from operators to supervisors, where professionals will increasingly find themselves checking and validating AI’s work.

CIOB CEO: ‘Wherever I go in the world, people have a problem with a lack of skilled workers’ CIOB CEO Caroline Gumble tells Andy Brown how she hears of skills shortages in construction everywhere she goes, and why the organisation wants to drive quality, diversity and sustainability in the sector.

“Understanding AI in the context of our sector is vitally important to help determine and shape how it might usher in new opportunities,” said David Philp, chair of CIOB’s Digital and Innovation Advisory Panel, and one of the playbook’s authors.

“AI can immensely support project and construction management, analysing large volumes of project data across the value chain, spotting potential safety risks through computer vision, and offering insights for smarter decision-making. It can also support the automation of repetitive tasks, such as everyday data entry, form filling, and report generation, all of which can dominate a construction manager’s day so it’s there to be embraced.”

The Artificial Intelligence Playbook can be downloaded for free here. 

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