How can AI improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness in infrastructure projects?

With the Federal Government banking on major infrastructure projects to ensure Australia’s smooth economic transition from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for the industry to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) and all the benefits it brings.

According to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), “An aggressive agenda to fund and build infrastructure projects needed to boost the liveability and productivity of major cities and regions will be essential to Australia’s recovery from the economic effects of COVID-19.” Read more +


AI isn’t a trend, it’s a paradigm shift

Construction and infrastructure are complex, human capital intensive industries in which technology advancements are underutilized, resulting in poor productivity and project outcomes. Although a bleak summation, it is one that is regularly reported by those who work in the industry.

With machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) here to stay, construction and infrastructure industries could look to embrace and benefit from new software techniques. Read more +


Lessons for 2021: Understanding what’s coming next and positioning your organisation to adapt

One of history’s most notable innovators and business magnates, Henry Ford is quoted as once having said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

In 2021, it remains true that the future can be difficult to visualise, when it looks too different from the present. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that technology is something we need not fear nor feel overwhelmed by. In fact, businesses, Governments and industries which choose to embrace and champion the immense potential that artificial intelligence and machine learning offer, will thrive in a post-pandemic world. Read more +


The Social Impact of AI: Turning Overruns Into Outcomes

Anecdotally, government and private sector projects overrun by up to $2 trillion globally, each year.

In addition to this being a significant misuse of time and resources; for government projects, these overruns present a huge impact on broader social needs. To put it in context – the current $2 trillion wastage could build 70,000 new schools or 1,000 new hospitals. Read more +


Company Risk

Companies rely on successful delivery of projects to remain competitive. As a company board member, how do you identify the real risks affecting the projects that you tender and deliver?

Recent headlines around companies who have been unsuccessful in delivering projects are adding up, creating reputational damage and legal friction. At worst, companies go into administration. Some lose significant shareholder value, some are sold, and others move away from high risk project revenue. Read more +


Cultural Change

Cultural change can be an overused term, though project management and delivery teach us what is perceived as best practice. Despite the huge range of project management, cost control, scheduling, risk and safety management systems, tools, procedures, and standards, they still fail to rectify under-performances.

A new project will be as good as the team appointed to manage it. They will bring their own experience and personal data biases to the project. People are optimistic by nature and suffer what is termed optimism bias. Read more +


It works – now what?

It is an enlightening experience when customers realise that our AI technology works, and that is has the capacity to identify problem projects. Reaching this point is a significant milestone. Octant AI’s predictions are then referenced in project review meetings to analyse the differences in AI and traditional predictions.

These early warnings highlight the importance of project managers exploring the details and taking an involved approach with this technology. Read more +


Advocacy and Education

The journey of AI adoption is gathering pace as the company moves forward through piloting and testing Octant AI. Target customers are led by very experienced professionals and they seek information on how the technology operates. We run several tests to demonstrate what Octant AI can predict on projects it has never seen nor been trained on. The test results demonstrate predictive accuracy.

Showing individual project managers AI predictions for past projects they managed, truly demonstrates the power of Octant AI. It helps overcome the perception that AI is just a black box. Read more +


Data Embarrassment and Confidentiality

After gaining customer interest in Octant AI we inquire about their data. Where is your data stored, how is it stored, do you have consistent data, what sort of data is available? These questions along with many others help us develop an understanding of how their data structures influence practical business challenges.

Many potential customers are unable to answer these questions. Therefore, they suffer from what we call ‘data embarrassment’ regarding the perception of the quality and completeness of their data. Many believe that feeding the AI ‘bad’ data predictions causes inaccuracies. Read more +


Initial Perceptions of AI

As Endeavour Programme engages with customers in the construction sector about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Octant AI more specially, there has been an understanding of the concept of AI, but a limited depth of comprehension, until now. The success of Octant AI with our foundation customer has been crucial in demonstrating the benefits of AI.

There are many hurdles to overcome in forming or changing the perceptions of AI; from gaining initial interest to moving forward to the actual adoption phase. A common negative perception of AI is that it is a distraction from the important day jobs, or even just a costly gimmick. However, when projects are negatively affected by budgets or deadlines, the construction industry becomes consumed with trying to make a difference. Organisations are utilising the same information and assumptions that previous decisions were made from. Unless the information can be interpreted more accurately, how can the decisions improve? Read more +