The other night I was watching Rob Schmidt on “Newsmax,” and his Siri App on his phone started talking to him during his show! He paused, responded to Siri, and resumed.

I find myself putting my phone in my desk drawer at times because it tends to say things like “I didn’t hear that.” or “Would you repeat that?” in the middle of meetings. It is a bit annoying and of course a reminder that someone is always listening to you. If this is happening to you and you want to shut it off, Norton did a great article on the steps to do so.

When typing up my blog, the computer will offer up suggestions on what to say to finish my sentences. At first most suggestions did not make sense and then overtime it was eerie to see how it can predict what I am trying to say.

In April of this year, Trimble did an article titled “The Benefits of AI in Construction”. Bob Banfield, an engineer with Trimble was asked the question: “What is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Construction?” And he answered: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is an aggregative term for describing when a machine mimics human cognitive functions, like problem-solving, pattern recognition, and learning. Machine learning is a subset of AI. Machine learning is a field of artificial intelligence that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” from data, without being explicitly programmed. A machine becomes better at understanding and providing insights as it is exposed to more data.”

The article lists 37 ways AI is already being used for Digital Collaboration, Back Office and On-site Execution and the author further goes on to discuss detail of various benefits of AI such as risk mitigation, safety, and project planning. All excellent benefits. Even while I was reading the article, the below AI message appeared to help me easily navigate to learn more on the topic.[/vc_column_text]

Picture of an AI Bot messaging a webpage visitor, "Based on your interest in this, I have soemthing that I think you'll find useful. Want to see?" CM's should expose themselves to AI In Construction, as it is inevitable.

Since my expertise is the human capital side of the business, the part of the article that stands out are the following:

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is an aggregative term for describing when a machine mimics human cognitive functions, like problem-solving, pattern recognition, and learning… “Despite the predictions of massive job losses, AI is unlikely to replace the human workforce. Instead, it will alter business models in the construction industry, reduce expensive errors, reduce worksite injuries, and make building operations more efficient.”

There are things you do as a valuable member of a construction management team, or in whatever industry you work in, to best use AI, yet not let AI replace you future. Here are a few:

  1. Stay relevant with technology and technological advances in the industry not just for the position you hold, but the positions that work closely with you. This does not mean that you yourself need to be an expert in operating or programming the software used, but understanding what part is being done by AI and what is being done by human capital. You can do this with either understanding the pitfalls and risks or how your responsibilities contribute to the success of all collaboration in the workplace.
  2. Further develop your processing skills. One of the top complaints we get from leaders in the industry is that their teammates complete submittals (action, informational and close-out) and other construction updates in the software provided yet the construction team member does not take time to think through what is being submitted and understand how it corresponds to the other data or work being done in the field.
  3. Recognize that although the use of AI in the workplace might make the responsibilities assigned to you easier than before AI, it is not designed to do that. AI is designed to increase reliability, increase efficiency, and increase accuracy along with eliminating risk. If you think your job is just pushing buttons instead of understanding the purpose behind the tools you use to do your job, then it might become easy-peasy for someone else to replace you, AI or not.

AI is getting so realistic with even putting skin on robots and programming them to use voices from live humans. This video shows how technology is replacing operators when it comes to doing civil and site work.

I am sure most of you have seen Spot who helps Skanska and other contractors with accuracy with field measurements and more.

Despite all your fond memories of childhood dreams living with R2D2 and CP3O the heroes were those with the heartbeat of life. Remembering to develop your relational skills is not only what will ultimately fulfill your human needs, it will prevent you from being replaced by something you might think has no heart, robotic or human. Human survival, workplace or anyplace is being in the right place, knowing your place and accepting those around you, regardless of their metal matter.

To Embracing the Future,

Suzanne Breistol


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