Artificial intelligence and construction marketing: Where are we now?


The world is quite a ways from the images in the 2001 science fiction movie: A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and it may be premature (but certainly is worthy of concern) that physicist Steven Hawkings has warned that A.I. could end mankind.

Yet the pace of development — and intelligence growth — within computer chips and electronic devices is growing at an incredible rate, and although smart technology is probably more a background theme or a matter for large-scale data crunching for big corporations rather than individual AEC businesses — it is time we paid heed to its impact and likely direction.

Consider this BGR report:

According?to?HotHardware, engineers at Cornell decided to stack a number of competing AI assistants against each other to determine which boasted the highest IQ. When the dust settled, researchers found that Google?s AI has an IQ of about 47.28, putting it slightly below the IQ of an average six-year old. Siri, in contrast, din?t fare all that well, with researchers finding that Apple?s AI checked in with an IQ of 23.9.

Now, an IQ in human terms of less than 50 would probably put you somewhere below the level of a six-year-old, though I think six-year-old kids of average intelligence can be pretty smart, when you think about it. But this growth from the 20s’ is in a matter of three or four years.

We see the impact largely in the world of voice recognition. Recently, I installed a Google Home unit in our family room. It behaves something like an Idiot Savant — it can answer complex mathematical questions, but has more difficulty with simple judgement queries (though it is programmed to answer jocularly some of the obvious trick questions you might pose to it.)

Over the week-end –ordered Friday night at 11:00 p.m. and delivered to the door Saturday at 2:00 p.m. — I installed a couple of “smart” light sockets. Now, I can control these lights from anywhere in the world, and give voice activation instructions to my Google Home device. The in-house monitoring camera comes next, arriving I expect this afternoon.

In the broader sense, and for marketing and business development purposes, I expect AI will soon allow us to know, segment, and understand our clients and potential customers much better, and often automatically anticipate their requirements. Of course they (or their machines) may “know” us much better, too.

Is science fiction becoming reality? It looks that way.

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