by Tim Dufault – Concert CRO
On March 29, 2023, The Future of Life Institute (https://futureoflife.org/open-letter/pause-giant-ai-experiments/) issued an open letter to halt the development of advanced AI engines for six months so governments and society could assess and establish mechanisms to manage potential risks. Co-signers include:
- Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter
- Andrew Yang, former presidential candidate
- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple
- Over 1,800 scientists, politicians, and social thinkers across the globe
In the design and construction industry, we believe that AI will bring significant long-term benefits and new opportunities to innovate – if properly applied. We agree that we should enter this space with open eyes and that there should be mechanisms to control the risk. However, enforcing a mandatory pause would be difficult, if not impossible. Instead, we believe there should be an intense discussion facilitated by governments, academia, business leaders, and the tech industry focused on the moral and ethical risks of the broad-scale adoption of AI. Many voices in the design industry are eager to jump into AI with total commitment; however, broad adoption will take longer than six months and will ultimately come with a full vetting of the technology’s value.
Pairing AI and Blockchain
One of the concerns openly shared about AI is the “hidden” nature of its generative processes. Perhaps this will be important when considering its use in conceptual design, but its capabilities for rapid data analysis hold the greatest promise. Design and construction generate vast amounts of data, and assessing that data for compliance, reliability, and application is a time-consuming and inefficient process. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, AI can help to automate many of the tasks associated with the design process, generating models and simulations, analyzing data, and identifying potential issues before they arise. We believe the tool to leverage these capabilities is the creation of Blockchain records of this data, making it more transparent to the entire stakeholder team. This will save time, reduce costs, and improve the accuracy and quality of the final product.
To test how AI might approach this, we asked ChatGPT, “What is the value of AI and Blockchain in design and construction?” After several refinements, here is its suggestion as to some of the ways AI and Blockchain can work together (minor edits for clarity):
- Quality Control: AI will be used to analyze design and construction data in real-time to identify potential quality issues. This information can then be recorded on Blockchain, creating a shared record for future reference that all stakeholders can access.
- Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA): Automation of the manufacturing process will save time and money. AI paired with Blockchain can facilitate the application of design data directly into fabrication, streamlining an antiquated communication process historically burdened by misinterpretation and mistakes.
- Material Tracking: Blockchain can be used to create a shared record of construction materials from the point of origin to the construction site. AI will be used to analyze this data to optimize the supply chain and reduce waste.
- Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing contracts that are stored on the Blockchain. AI will be used to automate the execution of these contracts, reducing the need for intermediaries and streamlining the contract management process.
- Payment Management: Blockchain can be used to create a shared record of payments between stakeholders. AI will be used to automate payment processes, reducing the risk of disputes and delays.
- Project Management: AI will be used to analyze construction data to optimize construction schedules and reduce project delays. This information can then be recorded on Blockchain, creating shared project milestones and progress records.
As answers go, this is okay, but it is overly general and vague, not to mention altruistic.
The design and construction industry is a complex and multifaceted environment that requires close collaboration between architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. The industry has many legal and financial requirements that must be met throughout the project’s lifecycle. As a result, managing the data can be a challenging and time-consuming task. The emergence of AI paired with Blockchain technologies has the potential to revolutionize the way that process is managed – by enabling the creation of secure and transparent records that can be easily accessed and shared by all stakeholders.
Concert is the only Blockchain platform available in the industry today. Paired with an AI engine to manage, assess, and organize the data, Concert will revolutionize the industry. AI doesn’t have to be evil; it doesn’t have to be hidden to create a more efficient process. At Concert, we are constantly looking forward to and assessing which tools, including AI, will help create a more transparent and effective building outcome.
The day when these tools have a greater role in shaping the industry will come sooner than we think, after all, ChatGPT wrote part of this blog.