October 23, 2019

AI to be worth $14bn to UK construction, architecture and engineering sector

By Lucy Ingham

Artificial intelligence (AI) is having a transformational impact to a host of industries, and according to research released today, AI for infrastructure, covering construction architecture and engineering, is set to be particularly vital.

According to data released today by startup SenSat, AI is set to deliver £14bn in new revenue each year to the construction, architecture and engineering sector, by providing significant productivity enhancements.

This will be achieved through the introduction of technologies such as digital twins, which are virtual versions of physical infrastructure that typically update in real-time, and which can be used to model scenarios and monitor for changes and issues.

AI key to the future of construction, architecture and engineering

As part of the research, SenSat, which is building products that translate the real world into data that AI can understand, surveyed 404 executive-level decision markers within the architecture, construction and engineering sector. The results indicate that digitisation is being seen as increasingly essential to survival in the field.

The respondents collectively believe that of construction firms that opt not to embrace digitisation technologies such as AI, 40% will be out of business within a decade.

“Around the world, well-functioning, modern infrastructure is central to economic development and quality of life,” said James Dean, CEO of SenSat.

“And yet, the way we plan and deliver infrastructure is antiquated in context of the automation and transparency that has transformed online industries.”

90% of respondents also expect AI to have a transformational impact on the industry, while 95% see digitisation as making their field more efficient.

“It’s encouraging to see that the UK is not just leading in artificial intelligence research – but also increasingly in the digitisation of infrastructure by training AI on real world data,” commented Mike Sort, chief scientific advisor for the Department for International Trade.

“By speaking to those working at the forefront of infrastructure delivery, SenSat have provided valuable insight into the way our construction methods are evolving – and proved the scale of opportunity in this vitally important industry.”

However, while many see the benefit of AI technology, not all believe the UK is leading in the field. Only 40% see the country as a leader in AI, while 48% see it as a follower and 12% characterise it as a laggard.


Read more:  Artificial intelligence to create 133 million jobs globally: Report