The construction industry is a major industry worldwide, making up around 7% of the world’s labour force. Research shows every year, £7.7 trillion is spent on construction-related activities.

Adopting the latest technology is always daunting at first but AI, as it continues to evolve, is set to revolutionise the industry by driving efficiency, cost savings, and improving project outcomes.

As is well documented, labour shortages in the industry are problematic, therefore a desire to boost productivity is convincing construction firms to invest in AI. Studies show firms could boost productivity levels by as much as 50%! Construction companies are starting to use AI to better plan for distribution of labour and machinery across jobs. A robot which constantly evaluates job progress, and the location of workers and equipment enables project managers to instantly determine which job sites have enough workers and equipment to complete the project on schedule, and which might be falling behind where additional labour could be deployed.

Another well documented issue in the industry is workplace fatalities. Despite improvements, construction remains a dangerous profession and accounts for among the greatest number of workplace fatalities each year. AI can be used to improve safety and compliance in construction in many ways, and has the potential to reduce accidents by up to 20%.

There are companies out there offering machine learning and computer vision technologies to identify high-risk zones and changing hazards on job sites. AI generates automatic alerts when a worker commits a safety violation, removes protective, or is in danger. AI-enabled construction, can reduce intensive manual labour, therefore lowering the risk of human mistake and injury and can also replace the need for human workers in mines, underwater jobsites, and in remote locations.

It is unlikely AI will replace the human workforce anytime soon. A report by the World Economic Forum shows that while machines with AI will replace roughly 85 million jobs in 2025, about 97 million jobs will be made available in the same year thanks to AI. So, individuals need to learn how to work with AI, so they’re not replaced by it.

Leaders at construction companies should prioritise investment based on areas where AI can have the most impact on their company’s needs. Early movers will set the direction of the industry and benefit in both the short and long term. By getting to grips with AI, construction companies can embrace a new era of unprecedented possibilities, propelling the industry toward greater productivity and success.