Contractors Develop Guide for Leveraging AI Tools

Industry News,

Originally Published by: Construction Dive — February 14, 2024
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Associated Builders and Contractors released a new guide to AI for construction pros. sculpies via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors released an artificial intelligence guide for construction professionals looking to get a handle on the evolving and popular technology, the group announced on Feb. 12.
  • With the guide, ABC sought to provide a level of knowledge to enable contractors to participate in the construction AI conversation, according to the employer group. The association’s manual includes definitions of common AI terminology, example uses and some guiding principles for builders to apply the tech in their own work.
  • The report also highlights the unknowns and acknowledges that it’s difficult to predict what the use cases for AI will look like, even within the next few years.

Dive Insight:

AI’s potential has garnered significant attention and begun to revolutionize, reshape and create new roles — and also invoke stiff government scrutiny

In construction specifically, AI has dominated the conversation around what technologies will become prominent on the worksites of the future. James Barrett, chief innovation officer for Turner Construction, predicted in a January 2023 interview that use would be more common among all positions, from designers to jobsite crews.

“Artificial intelligence will transform our industry in the next 10 years more than any  other technology in the past 100 years,” Barrett told Construction Dive.

When drafting an office AI policy, the guide advises that human resources representatives need to ask specialized questions about how employees plan to use the tech, instead of issuing a blanket policy. Additionally, companies should consider developing a mission statement for the policy.

“Consider an overall approach that monitors AI use and encourages innovation, but ensures that AI is only used to augment internal work and with proper data,” the guide reads.

Matt Abeles, ABC vice president of construction technology and innovation, cited the growing labor shortage in the industry as a particular point of interest where AI may be able to aid builders.

“As younger workers become industry leaders, we must approach AI in construction as beneficial with a balanced view that includes continuous evaluation, developing ethical guidelines and increasing awareness about what AI can and cannot do,” Abeles said in the release.