By: Chris Greene, VP, NFP, and Chad Hollingsworth, Co-Founder & President, Insight Risk Technologies
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) represents a significant advancement in the field of machine learning and data science. AI focuses on the creation of content curated from a variety of mediums, such as unstructured text, images, videos, music or other forms of data. In the context of the construction and infrastructure (C&I) sector, this can have profound implications for the way companies operate, manage risk, transfer risk and leverage technology.
Generative AI should not be seen as a technology that humans must adapt to, but rather the technology should adapt to us. By learning from our needs and behaviors, it can help technology work seamlessly with our unique operations. From risk assessment on project pipelines, productivity gains, reduction in total cost of risk, improved insurance underwriting results and construction profitability, generative AI offers a suite of tools that can enhance or even help general contractors (GCs) build the data architecture that will provide them a competitive advantage.
Today’s applications of generative AI range from creating realistic virtual reality simulations to writing creative and informative copy. In the C&I industry, there are many potential uses for this technology, such as creating digital twins drafted from drawings or simulating the impact of different construction methods, contract types and asset types on safety, schedule and project budgets.
In the area of risk assessment, generative AI can process unstructured risk data to provide qualitative summaries. By analyzing past incidents or claims, generative AI can identify patterns and predict potential risks, improving or even creating a decision-making process by asset type and by location. For example, generative AI can utilize data relating to project health from previous projects to estimate the probability of different risk events occurring along the timeline of any project. Generative AI can also suggest mitigation strategies based on the results of similar prior projects. This gives project managers a more nuanced understanding of the potential risks involved in their projects, allowing them to make more informed decisions.
GCscan start to benefit from generative AI in numerous ways. One such method is AI-driven design, where generative AI is used to create design alternatives based on specific criteria. This can help optimize planning and resource allocation, as AI can predict the resources required for each design alternative. Generative AI can also be used for real-time site monitoring and early hazard detection. By learning from previous incidents, AI can identify potential hazards and alert relevant personnel before an incident occurs. This can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and improve safety on construction sites. To keep up with industry trends and what technology is available to GCs, chief information officers and risk managers should consider attending construction technology conferences, such as Engineering New-Record’s FutureTech and the BuiltWorlds Summit, Autodesk University, among others.
Insight Risk Technologies, one of our strategic underwriting partners, constructed an innovative and dynamic business model grounded in the power of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the data these devices generate. IoT forms the core backbone of their operations, acting as the key instrument for capturing and interpreting data.
Through various sensors integrated into IoT devices, a massive pool of data is continuously collected. This data, when effectively processed and interpreted, reveals significant patterns and trends. These insights are then used by Insight Risk to develop predictive models for safety and risk management. This ability to predict and manage risks has far-reaching implications, influencing decision-making, driving strategic planning and refining operational procedures. It’s a game-changing approach, transforming traditional risk management through the innovative use of technology.
The strength of this strategy lies in the volume, velocity and variety of data from IoT devices. IoT devices can monitor a range of variables, including temperature, humidity or motion, across different environments and contexts. This broad scope provides a comprehensive view of potential risks, enabling Insight Risk Technologies to anticipate and prepare for a range of scenarios, thereby improving their service quality and effectiveness.
Generative AI promises a game-changing increase in both the speed and accuracy across the insurance industry. But, the improvements do not end in the underwriting process; the quality of risk selection is also expected to see significant enhancement. This is due to the AI’s ability to generate a vast array of possible scenarios and predict outcomes based on nuanced parameters, leading to more informed and accurate decision-making.
With generative AI’s advanced pattern recognition and deep learning algorithms, there will be a shift in the traditional underwriting model. Instead of relying on historical data and established norms, underwriting has the potential to become a dynamic, forward-looking process. By predicting and responding to evolving risks, generative AI could revolutionize insurance underwriting. This will result in improved risk selection with a more holistic view of each case, thereby creating better value for clients and the insurance sector as a whole.
The adoption of generative AI can lead to significant improvements in the safety, efficiency and health of projects in the C&I industry. By automating and improving various tasks, from risk assessment to resource planning, generative AI can help businesses run more efficiently and profitably.
There are many competitive advantages that generative AI can provide the construction industry. Companies that adopt the right safety culture and this technology can stay ahead, adapt to change faster and capitalize on new opportunities – not to mention attract tech-savvy talent that might otherwise go to other industries. As generative AI continues to advance, its potential applications in the C&I industry will only grow.
The first steps a general contractor can take to benefit from generative AI would be to seek out leading advisors in the sectors of construction risk and technology risk insurance. NFP and Insight Risk Technologies are both leading the way in creating innovative solutions and generating value for our clients’ innovative approaches to risk on the jobsite.
Chris Greene, Vice President
Strategy, Analytics and Knowledge
NFP Construction & Infrastructure Group North America
100 King Street West | Suite 5140 | Toronto, ON M5X 1A9
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