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The Institution of Civil Engineers Institute / association Website
Last edited 19 Sep 2017

The impact of artificial intelligence on built environment

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Contents

[edit] Introduction

Built environment professionals believe that artificial intelligence is going to have a significant impact on how they work – according to a survey conducted over summer 2017 by ICE.

The survey results revealed:

  • 73% of built environment professionals think that AI will have a significant impact on their organisations.
  • 78% of built environment professionals are positive about the impact of AI on the sector.

[edit] Key findings from industry AI workshop

The potential impact of AI on the built environment sector was also discussed at a workshop convened by ICE and the National Infrastructure Commission.

Attendees included tech companies, civil engineers, contractors and academics.

The discussion was split into 4 sessions. The key findings were:

[edit] Performance

AI will lead to substantial improvements to the design and delivery of infrastructure, in turn boosting productivity levels. But in order for this to be realised there is a need to embed data expertise across the sector.

[edit] Transition

Piloting and testing is necessary if machine learning and AI technologies, together with robotics and virtual reality, are to transform the built environment. Likewise, cultural change and leadership across industry is needed to drive the AI revolution.

[edit] Governance and data

The pace of technological change and the data requirements associated with AI mean that creating a governance framework is very challenging. Issues around privacy, security and intellectual property also need addressing.

[edit] Skills and ethics

Civil engineers of the future will require different training and skillsets to get to grips with AI, including greater crossover with other disciplines like social sciences. There is also an immediate need for interested parties to work together to create solutions to the ethical question marks that exist in relation to AI.

[edit] Future ICE research and discussions into AI

ICE plans to hold further round-tables and workshops to explore these big issues and themes in more detail. There are many other questions that the built environment sector should explore in relation to AI including:

For more information and to read the full findings from the workshop see here.


This article was originally published on 11 Sept 2017 by ICE. It was written by Ben Goodwin, ICE Policy Manager.

--The Institution of Civil Engineers

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