Arrowsmith Project Management Limited

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There has been a perception that there is finite innovation in construction and the MEP trades, the reality is quite different. There have been advances in construction technology all along, and we are now seeing an increase in the momentum of investment in construction tech. The perception gap is narrowing, and the industry is changing. We talked about the intricacies, the ups and downs of construction, and the transformation taking place in the industry.

The construction industry is seeing rapid advancements in technology, but unlike most industries, the construction industry has relied on age-old techniques for a very long time. Nobody likes change, but I think we all agree that our industry in particular is pretty resistant. Simply put, we’re on the verge of something big. It’s the kind of shake-up that has the potential to revolutionize the way that people perform their jobs on a daily basis. Anticipating this kind of growth in the face of a pandemic which decimated other industries, for instance hospitality.

Artificial intelligenceand the future of human’s skills

VR, AR, AI – there’s a lot of technology coming down the highway and overtaking the construction industry. But you can relax. Artificial intelligence (AI) robots aren’t coming from the future to take over everything.

Software can do very well some things that humans do poorly. On the other hand, there are many things we humans do really well that software doesn’t do at all. For one thing, software tools cannot be flexible. AI is able to take in data and change its models in response, similar to learning. But it is NOT learning as humans can do. We can see a new situation, roll it around in our brains for a while and figure it out. A machine can merely do something more accurately that it was already programmed to do. It can basically help a person use their intelligence and insight to design a better world.

There’s so much potential in construction right now, its generating excitement about the industry overall. There is plenty of opportunity to innovate and achieve amazing things. Yet, technology advancement can leave people excited and frustrated at the same time – mainly in how slowly others are adopting tech. When rolling out new technology, some people’s expectations may be way off base if they’re hoping a software tool will cure every problem the company has.

While those who embrace technology may have the impression their industry is too slow at innovating, the reality is that implementing technology on a large scale within a company is complex. Implementation doesn’t simply impact one process. For instance, if you change project coordination, you also change the way you buy materials and maybe even affect your company’s legal exposure.

Figuring out a clever way of solving a problem with technology means using a set of tools. The construction industry has an abundant group of people who already use tools to build things. We already have staff who are biased toward the use of technology tools. When we use visual tools and automation, it energize us. Technology will allow us to do the thing we love and do it faster. As it turns out, technology is not much different than any other tool used on a construction project. It is a formal way of applying science to achieve work, while eliminating the mundane or repetitive features of that work.

The promise of technology is that it allows us to give up those tedious parts of our job so we’re free to be more creative and strategic in our thinking. Tech lets us focus on the more enjoyable parts of our job.

AI can automate a job, save labor and keep us from making mistakes on a project. But it doesn’t come close to what a skilled human being can accomplish through intuition, creativity and problem solving.

So until the machines can figure out creativity on our level, we are safe from the robots and free to keep innovating.