Artificial intelligence in the construction industry - how can it work? In our AI information series, which we offered in cooperation with the Lower Saxony Building Trade Association , interested companies in the construction, bricklaying, carpentry, tiling, road construction, screeding, plastering and concrete block making trades learned about possible operational areas of application for AI.

Our DAISEC experts Julian Laue and Markus Engel as well as Lukas Fischer from the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover and Robert Falkenstein from the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Handwerk passed on their knowledge to the participants. Coordinator of the AI info series and skilled trades expert Walter Pirk hosted the course.

Getting closer to the topic of AI in four modules

The first of the four online seminars took place on November 2, 2023 with 25 participants. The event focused on demystifying the term "artificial intelligence". In particular, the course participants worked out the differences between rule-based systems and AI models (Module 1). While rule-based systems model input-output relationships based on defined rules, AI aims to learn these rules independently. This requires examples of input-output pairs, the collection of which proves to be complex. In order to deepen the understanding of this complex topic, the experts explained various challenges in data collection and repeatedly made reference to process digitization. They also illustrated how products and services can be better adapted to the individual wishes of customers in the future with the increasing spread of AI.

Another focus of the seminar series was on adapting existing business models with AI and developing new, AI-based business models (Module 2). The so-called "AI readiness" of a company is also important for the introduction of AI applications. Module 3 dealt with the required infrastructure, technical expertise, strategic and economic orientation of the company and the willingness of employees to drive change towards AI. In the last module on 22 November, the participants discussed topics specifically relevant to the construction industry. In addition, the experts from DAISEC and the Mittelstand-Digital Zentren demonstrated the use of ChatGPT in a corporate context.

AI is already being used in construction companies

During the seminar series, participants from the construction industry reported on their initial experiences with ChatGPT, which they are already using as a suggestion when formulating job advertisements, for example. AI is also already being used in some cases for invoice processing. The debureaucratization of the daily tasks of entrepreneurs through AI, in which tedious routine tasks are taken over by the computer, would be another possible point of application for the future. AI algorithms could already enhance automated workflows in standard software.

After completing the KI information series, all participants will have access to further consulting services at the participating Mittelstand-Digital Centers and DAISEC.

The AI info series addresses the topics of AI basics, AI readiness, AI-based business models and best practices and is aimed specifically at skilled crafts associations.

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