Laura Black
Laura BlackEditor

The Age of AI

Perhaps one of the most daunting tasks for a CIO is making decisions about what systems to implement—especially in an era when technology is advancing at such a rapid rate. The good news is it doesn’t have to be such a difficult job.

This issue of Constructech magazine will help set the stage for 2019 and beyond, giving IT professionals’ insights into some of the top trends in the industry today, and what is coming in the near future. Certainly, this includes the IoT (Internet of Things), M2M, AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, and even blockchain.

Terms like this can often be difficult to digest, but they don’t have to be. Here’s a really quick primer, if you are still trying to wrap your arms around some of the definitions. At its core, the Internet of Things can send and receive data in order to help make intelligent and actionable decisions.

Diving in a bit deeper, AI was originally coined by John McCarthy in 1955, with the objective to make a machine that could reason with a human and was capable of abstract thought and problem solving. Today, it uses computers to mimic the cognitive functions of humans, enabling it to help carry out tasks based on algorithms. Meanwhile, machine learning is an offshoot of AI, and it is a method for receiving and learning about datasets based on patterns and then changing the algorithms based what it learned. Basically, it is machines getting smarter over time.

Here is a more simple explanation: it is all about data, and using it in a way that works best for businesses. It can seem like a tall feat to jump into an IoT implementation, but quite simply all these advances are a means for systems to become smarter, helping business make better use of the data. In many cases, all this intelligence is happening behind the scenes.

Construction companies are the ones who stand to benefit the most—and this edition of the magazine provides details about all the latest advances and some of the most advanced technology on the market today. I encourage you to flip through and discover what the future will look like. It just might help make those buying decisions a little bit easier.

Peggy Smedley
Peggy SmedleyEditorial Director

Changing the Narrative

To fix the talent gap we need to be changing the narrative. We need to be helping the next generation see they can make a considerable contribution to construction. In a world where everything is connected, can you foresee construction as viable? That is the question we need to pose to Generation Z, which is our next largest workforce. These will be the trades at your jobsites.

The construction industry, as a whole, has a unique responsibility in developing the new trades, and the men and women so that they match the skills that are in demand now and into the future. The new generation will only want to participate if we inspire them and show them what’s possible.

For more than a decade we have been talking about the IoT (Internet of Things), and now we are showing how AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning will fill the holes that some might say exist and to help fix the talent gap.

These new tech tools open the door to really demonstrate a rapid time of disruption and rapidly changing innovation spurring much industry excitement.

As many of you already know, AI is altering the way we work because we are connecting every facet of our lives. It is also  playing a critical role in changing how we communicate with Gen Z in what they can see is possible. Even more importantly, AI and machine learning are helping the next generation interpret what they can be contributing in a world where everything is connected.

Today, it’s about education. We have the capability to educate and to advance our best and to help them learn a new skill. We need to view our world differently. Rather than continuing to work long, hard hours, all of these mundane tasks will be replaced and performed by machines. The health of individuals will become foremost on the minds for Gen Z. Now is the time to help them see a career that will last a lifetime.