Designing a National Institute for AI in Construction

April 11, 2024
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The processing of the future National Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction is being schemed by Pingbo Tang and Burcu Akinci, part of the Civil and

Environmental Engineering (CEE) team, with the collaboration of  researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and over 40 partners in industry.

Tang, associate professor of CEE and Akinci, a professor of CEE and associate dean for research are cooperating to prosper the foundation for the institution. Besides,

they are planning to examine and evolve the paths to combine machine learning and AI technology to become more modern construction work.

“This National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes Planning award supports research and coordination activities to build collaborations among AI researchers,

construction researchers, and industry partners, with the aim of forming an Institute for AI in Construction,” the researchers write in their summary. “This research will

identify AI problems in the construction domain that can serve as model problems, uncover novel conceptual challenges to AI research from construction applications,

and identify likely dataset needs to support future research on AI in construction.”

Tang - a 2009 alumnus of CEE - participated in Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering which had spent seven years as a faculty member at Arizona State University.

The majority of his recent work, he has emphasized risk analysis and the human element within potential situations.

For example, he has created one project in duplicating various systems and actions from the taxiing aircraft and aircraft controllers. This project focused on the

combination of metrics like aircraft trajectories and distance, as well as certain conditions with the individual awareness and communication to find out which factors

place the aircraft at high risk of an accident on the runway.

Another scheme, he investigated the factors affecting nuclear engineers through the changing circumstances. Tang’s commission helps to single out and keep away

from potential errors in high-risk situations.

Moreover, another main thrust in Tang’s project is fundamental construction analysis. As a part of  National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence grant in partnership

with the University of Illinois, he has pointed to a methodology which is used to scrutinize bridge infrastructure for modernization based on the socioeconomic impact

of its design and location. This necessitates for the time when the decreasing of America’s infrastructure is co-occurring nationally with the requirement for distribution

of resource in equally ways

“The construction industry will welcome the next generation of AI that integrates human intelligence and machine intelligence.” Pingbo Tang, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Then, his other recent work utilizes deep learning algorithms into a structure in tracking of leaks in canals by using satellite imagery. With this algorithm, it can integrate image data and layers data in land surface temperature, degree of vegetation coverage, and also vegetation dryness to specify the location of water which can be escaping.

Therefore, Tang's experience in fundamental construction analysis and risk analysis can lead him to the right choice in the role in the National Institute of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction.

The construction industry will welcome the next generation of AI that integrates human intelligence and machine intelligence,” said Tang. “Humans, as intelligent machines that learn from daily life, can collaborate with machine intelligence to tackle construction spaces in an open world full of uncertainties.
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