Debates about the potential benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the construction industry are ultimately moot points until the industry gets a firm grasp on creating "clean" data, says Ryan Worley, data manager at Truebeck Construction in California. clean-data-key-maximizing-ai-construction-projects

"Historically, the construction industry has struggled with producing clean data, logs, and processes," he says. It's akin to the adage "garbage in, garbage out" because AI usage is only as strong as the original inputs.  

While he's bullish on AI growth in construction over the next few years, Worley thinks the industry isn't close to critical mass. "AI definitely has the ability to impact construction positively, but we're not there yet, and right now, we're mostly taking small baby steps in that direction," he says. 

“We are a few years away at least from wider adoption” of AI in the construction industry, though other industries have demonstrated its benefit, he notes.  

Truebeck has been recognized for its innovative use of data in construction projects. (See Truebeck is Changing the Face of Construction with Data Warehousing | Truebeck Construction.)

The firm has been recognized with several awards, including ENR Top 100 Construction Management-at-Risk-Firms, ENR Top 100 Design-Build Firms, San Francisco Business Times Top 100 Bay Area Corporate Philanthropists, Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Founder's Award of Excellence, Silicon Valley Business Times Top 30 Largest General Contractor in Silicon Valley. 

At Truebeck, "we've taken stabs at leveraging AI," Worley says. Thus far, he notes that they've mainly used it in limited ways to help with staffing and cost projections for projects. However, even in these circumstances, Truebeck uses AI in a limited way. "We still need to go back and verify the AI work; we don't just take it as the be-all and end-all." Instead, AI is a good additional layer that provides “approximate answers we still need to verify,” Worley adds.

Worley stresses that “good clean data” at the outset is absolutely vital when it comes to realizing the potential benefits of AI down the line. “AI will have many positive applications” in construction projects, “but the construction industry is still getting there,” he adds.