From Mark Zuckerberg stating that Facebook will become a metaverse company to Satya Nadella saying that one of the goals for Microsoft is the metaverse, you can’t read business news today without coming across the word du jour.
While the metaverse is still being defined and developed, several key figures have become leading voices helping evangelize, educate, advise, develop and create the successor to today’s mobile internet. Here are 30 of the most influential people who can help us all have a better perspective of what the metaverse is and will become.
1. Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson is one of the world’s leading sci-fi writers. Stephenson is recognized as the first author who mentioned the term Metaverse in his post-cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” in 1992. Stephenson’s work explores Mathematics, Cryptography, Linguistics, Philosophy, Currency, and Science History. He worked at Blue Origin, a company founded by Jeff Bezos as an advisor. Also, he worked at Magic Leap as Chief Futurist from 2014 to 2020.
2. Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball is a well-known strategist, essayist, investor, advisor, and futurist. Ball is the Managing Partner of EpyllionCo, a company that operates a pre-seed and seed venture fund and a venture and corporate advisory arm. Along with Genvid Technologies CEO Jacob Navok and Roundhill Investments, Ball has launched The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF. The ETF allows people to invest in companies making the metaverse happen now or are situated to do so in the future.
3. Cathy Hackl
Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized tech futurist and business executive with deep experience working in metaverse-related fields with companies like HTC VIVE, Magic Leap, and Amazon Web Services. She’s the founder of the Futures Intelligence Group where she advises Fortune 1000 and top luxury fashion brands on metaverse growth strategies, NFTs, and how to extend their brands into virtual worlds. She’s a sought-after consultant, speaker, and media personality. Hackl was recently featured in 60 Minutes+, Bloomberg and Cheddar’s coverage of the metaverse and is a contributor to Forbes. She’s writing an anticipated book on the business opportunities of the metaverse that will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing.
4. David Baszucki
As the Founder and CEO of Roblox, David Baszucki has been working on bringing the gaming industry into the Metaverse for years. He founded Roblox in 2004 with the vision of connecting the world. Roblox currently has an estimated amount of 20.82 million total subscribed players and around 400k daily players entering the platform. Roblox is now collaborating with known brands such as Gucci to create immersive experiences with gaming. Roblox recently launched a podcast called “Roblox Tech Talks” with its first episode, “Step Into The Metaverse,” a discussion between Baszucki and Roblox’s CTO Dan Sturman.
5. Tim Sweeney
Tim Sweeney is the founder and CEO of Epic Games, the maker of one of the world’s most popular games called Fortnite. Sweeney is also the creator of the gaming platform known as Unreal Engine. He has received various awards recognizing his work in the gaming industry, including “Person of the year” in 2019 by the British video game industry magazine MCV. Also, in 2020 Forbes Media Awards chose Sweeney as “Person of the Year” for building and turning Fortnite into a gaming social network that hosts online events such as Travis Scott’s in-game concert with 28 million viewers. On August 6, 2021, Fortnite collaborated with Ariana Grande to host the “Rift Tour” concert gameplay.
6. Jensen Huang
Jensen Huang is the CEO of NVIDIA Corporation. He founded NVIDIA to solve the problem of 3D graphics for the PC. Then Nvidia jumped to the next era of computing: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Huang contacted the Metaverse creating NVIDIA’s Omniverse, which is now available in beta version. NVIDIA Omniverse is an open, cloud-native platform that makes it easy to accelerate workflows and collaborate in real-time. Omniverse allows creators, engineers, and researchers to collaborate in virtual worlds that are all connected.
7. Philip Rosedale
Philip Rosedale is a lifelong entrepreneur aiming for an open-ended, Internet-connected virtual world. He pioneered the creation of Second Life, a virtual civilization. In 2013, he co-founded High Fidelity, Inc. with its Spatial Audio API that enables immersive, high-quality voice chat for any application for any group size in a personalized 3D audio stream.
Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, made history in March 2021 where he sold his NFT collage everyday series called “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” for $69,400,00 at Christie’s auction house, making it the fourth-most expensive artwork by a living artist. Christie’s described Beeple as “A visionary digital artist at the forefront of NFTs.”
9. Avery Akkineni
Gary Vaynerchuk is a force in the NFT world, and he’s chosen Avery Akkineni to lead his team as President of VaynerNFT. Akkineni believes that NFTs can simultaneously build brand value while delivering community value. VaynerNFT is a venture created to help the world’s leading intellectual property owners navigate the NFT space. Currently, Budweiser signed as VaynerNFT’s flagship client to generate a PR strategy to grow excitement and connect with consumers through ingenious experiences.
10. Lindsey McInerney
Lindsey McInerney is the Global Head of Technology and Innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev. She led the collaboration between Stella Artois and the virtual horse racing platform ZED RUN to give users exclusive horse breed NFTs. She has deep working knowledge of the global software industry, with direct experience working in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Her specialties are the Metaverse, crypto, blockchain, NFTs, commercial strategy, and digital marketing.
11. Krista Kim
Krista Kim is a contemporary artist and the founder of Techism. Techism is an art movement that reconciles technological innovation with the creation of art. Kim has exhibited on the iconic square of the Palais of Tokyo Museum and the Museum of Modern Art of Paris. Currently, she is the ambassador of SuperWorld, an augmented reality virtual world that allows users and brands to create, discover, and monetize.
12. Jamie Burke
Jamie Burke is the Founder and CEO Outlier Ventures, one of the top venture funds in Europe and a platform dedicated to blockchain technology and Web 3. Outlier Ventures has developed an award-winning Web 3 accelerator working with 30 pre-seed startups during a year, helping raise over $130 million in growth capital. In February 2021, Outlier Ventures launched The Open Metaverse OS, a shared and open operating system of sorts building upon the success of decentralized protocols, in particular DeFi and NFTs emerging in The Web 3 Stack based on blockchains and crypto-assets.
13. Ryan Gill
Ryan Gill is the co-founder and CEO of Crucible, which seeks to create the Blueprints for the Open Metaverse, a cross-industry consortium for forging the Open Metaverse based on open standards. Crucible’s main product is the Emergence SDK which provides an accessible vehicle for game engine developers to access new Web 3 technologies with portable digital identity and in-world tools to manage their digital lives across the Open Metaverse. His company is the originator of the Direct-to-Avatar (D2A) commerce model. Crucible is creating a market network of empowered gamers, modders, and creators for the new digital renaissance that will come in a few short years by those building the future through game engines.
14. Marjorie Hernandez
Marjorie Hernandez is the co-founder of LUKSO which she co-founded with her partner Fabian Vogelsteller. LUKSO is a blockchain platform specifically curated for the lifestyle industry, providing decentralized innovation and trust infrastructure for fashion brands, startups, and customers.
Hernandez also co-founded THE DEMATERIALISED with educator and connector Karinna Nobbs. THE DEMATERIALISED is a virtual goods marketplace, generating new experiences and revenue streams for the fashion industry.
15. Akash Nigam
Akash Nigam is the founder of Genies, an avatar-building platform where people can speak their minds and find connections. Nigam entered the Metaverse world with a mindset of how creating avatars can help people dealing with their mental health and find a space where they can truly be themselves. In May 2021, Genies raised $65 million led by Mary Meeker’s investment firm Bond, intending to use the funds to develop Genies’ NFT Marketplace, allowing users to produce and trade tokenized avatars, clothing, and accessories.
16. Benoit Pagotto
Benoit Pagotto is the co-founder of RTFKT studios, a studio for next-generation sneakers, fashion and collectibles for the Metaverse. RTKFT merges augmented reality, NFTs, blockchain authentication with gaming and fashion. Pagotto believes that brands need to redirect their marketing to Gen Z. In May 2021, RTFKT studios raised $8 million in seed funding by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to expand the company’s global team and incubate new digital projects.
17. Sebastien Borget
Sebastien Borget has been working in blockchain technology and within the mobile gaming industries for a while, and is the co-founder and COO of The Sandbox. The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their own voxel gaming experiences on the PoS blockchain platform, which reduces the carbon footprint of NFTs by up to 99%. Currently, Animoca Brands and Skybound Entertainment teamed up to bring The Walking Dead to The Sandbox.
18. Andrew Bosworth
Andrew “Boz” Bosworth is the Vice President of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality at Facebook, Bosworth is an essential piece in Facebook’s new step to the Metaverse because of his role at Facebook Reality Labs.
Bosworth announced the launch of a metaverse product team at Facebook in a post a week after Mark Zuckerberg said publicly that Facebook would become a metaverse company. Boz also has a podcast called Boz To The Future where he interviews leaders within Facebook about the company’s roadmap.
19. Carolina Arguelles
Carolina Arguelles is Snap’s Group Product Marketing Manager where she leads a team for Snap’s augmented reality, visual search, computer vision technologies, augmented reality creator ecosystem, business augmented reality offerings, and camera developers SDKs. Her vision of how 5G will change augmented reality and fashion has brought interesting projects to Snap Inc’s Snapchat by working with renowned fashion brands like Ralph Lauren or Dior.
20. Emma-Jane Mackinnon-Lee
Emma-Jane Mackninnon-Lee is the Founder and CEO of DIGITALAX. This Web 3.0 digital platform builds the first digital fashion operating system that optimizes web architecture to bring fashion, gaming, modding, NFTs, DeFi, DAOs, virtual reality, and other 3D content environments. Digitalax launched Diggyfizzy, a metaverse magazine, to highlight new creators and new voices in the NFT industry. Digitalax’s next project is the Web3 Fashion Week in collaboration with Web3 Fashion.
21. Dirk Lueth
Dirk Lueth, a serial entrepreneur who started companies in Europe and the United States, is the co-founder of Upland. Upland is an NFT Metaverse and property trading game paired with a decentralized economy. It consists of a world-building platform in the Metaverse based on blockchain technology where users can buy, sell, trade, and develop virtual properties to earn money and connect with others.
22. Evelyn Mora
Evelyn Mora is the inventor of the Village Protocol Social Blockchain User Interface (UI). She founded the DIGITAL VILLAGE, a Social Metaverse with its community-led Blockchain technology built to prioritize social and digital sustainability, digital land, and digital assets marketplace.
23. Teddy Pahagbia
Teddy Pahagbia is the founder of BLVCK PiXEL. BLVCK PiXEL is a company that helps brands and businesses to transform through digital innovation like augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, blockchains, artificial intelligence, and advanced data management systems. BLVCK PiXEL’s vision is to achieve business growth on the scope of technology immersed with a human-centered approach for purpose-driven innovation.
24. Jon Radoff
Jon Radoff is the CEO of Beamable, Radoff aims to integrate social networking, content creation, online communities, and games. In May 2021, Beamable had a $5 Million raise intended to continue being a creator-focused platform for building live games, eliminating all barriers to help game makers increase their revenues at a low operation cost.
25. Amber Allen
Amber Allen is the founder of Double A Labs, a company that offers from tech-forward immersive augmented and mixed reality experiences to spatial computing, photogrammetry to holograms, and projection mapping. Double A Labs creates virtual experiences through their Phygital World for brands’ consumers to watch, create, play, and shop, bringing brands’ content into dynamic worlds, living unique and engaging experiences. Double A Labs have done projects for known clients, including AT&T, Twitch, and Dell.
26. DCL Blogger
A few years back, Matty, better known as, DCL Blogger, stumbled upon Decentraland, a virtual world-building platform. He saw the benefits of a community that was actively buying and selling NFTs for money, so he decided to create a full-time thing to earn money. As a result, he decided to create DCL Blogger to keep a log of his thoughts and learnings about Decentraland and NFTs. DCL Blogger is the founder of the Metakey, a token that can be used across multiple platforms to transform into avatars, game items, course material, virtual lands, and much more.
27. Evo Heyning
Evo Heyning is a system designer who focuses on spatial interfaces, engagement strategy, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality in workflows and networks that enable collaboration. She founded Light Lodges, an interactive and immersive media agency and studio producing mixed reality and virtual reality experiences and channels. Also, she is the Executive Producer and CEO of PlayableAgency, a company that creates immersive and interactive experiences with playable cities and venues. Since June 2021, Heyning is the Co-Chair of the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, a Metaverse media network that is open and public for communities in the development of new worlds.
28. Erikan Obotetukudo
Erikan Obotetukudo is a strategic advisor to a portfolio of finance leaders, corporate executives, investors, and tech entrepreneurs. She’s working to connect with multicultural and multigenerational audiences worldwide, redefining it in the next 100 years. In March 2021, she founded Audacity, a crypto Venture Capital fund that invests in Black and African-led crypto startups worldwide.
29. Hrish Lotlikar
Hrish Lotlikar is the co-founder and CEO of SuperWorld, a virtual world in augmented reality (AR) mapped onto the real world, allowing users to create, discover, and monetize content in Augmented Reality. He is also co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Rogue Initiative Studios, an LA-based entertainment company. His interests are Film, TV, virtual reality, gaming, mixed reality (XR), and crypto.
30. Enara Nazarova
Enara Nazarova is the founder of ARMOAR and The Digital Fashion & Art Club. She also co-hosts digital fashion and art on Clubhouse. Nazarova fused all her metaverse knowledge into ARMOAR, a digital fashion platform and identity incubator for avatars.
Her mission at ARMOAR is to blend organic and inorganic worlds to create a sustainable digital ecosystem for artists and their fans to explore the future of virtual identity.
Image Credits: from the author; thank you!
Application Dependencies: Are They Holding Back Software Innovation?
In software development, a dependency is a piece of software that another piece of software relies on in order to function. An application’s dependencies are the external components that the application needs in order to work. These can include libraries, frameworks, and other software packages that the application uses.
For example, if an application is written in Python and uses the Django web framework, then Django would be a dependency of the application. In order to run the application, the Django library would need to be installed on the system.
Managing Dependencies in Software Development
Managing dependencies is an important part of software development, as it helps to ensure that an application has all the necessary components it needs to run correctly. This can be especially important when deploying an application to a new environment, as all of the dependencies will need to be installed and configured correctly in order for the application to work.
While dependencies make it possible to develop applications faster and add advanced functionality quickly without having to build them from scratch, they also introduce serious risks that can bring software development projects to a halt. I’ll describe what types of dependencies commonly exist in software projects and how they impact software innovation.
Types of Software Dependencies
Functional dependencies are components or resources that are necessary for an application to function. They result from the tasks that enable businesses to achieve their desired outcomes. It is important to identify and map these dependencies to detect and address issues, removing redundant dependencies.
Sometimes, you might need an unavailable dependency, such as one still in development. Mocking is a technique used in software development to create simulated versions of components or dependencies for testing purposes. Mocking allows developers to test the behavior of a piece of code in isolation by replacing its dependencies with mock objects that mimic the behavior of the real dependencies.
Developmental dependencies, on the other hand, are dependencies that are only needed during the development and testing phase of a software application. These dependencies might include tools for testing, debugging, or building the application and are not necessary for the application to run in production.
For example, an application may depend on a testing framework such as JUnit or PyTest during development in order to run automated tests. Still, the testing framework would not be required when the application is deployed.
Similarly, an application may depend on a build tool such as Gradle or Maven during development in order to compile and package the code, but the build tool would not be needed when the application is running.
Non-Functional and Operational
Non-functional dependencies are dependencies that relate to the overall behavior and performance of a software application rather than its specific functionalities. Examples of non-functional dependencies might include dependencies on particular hardware or software configurations or dependencies on system-level services such as networking or security.
Operational requirements can be hidden in functional requirements, so they only become apparent later in the project. To resolve an issue with such dependencies, it is important to establish policies, identify the root cause of the issue, and determine the appropriate resolution.
Dangers and Risks of Application Dependencies
There are several risks associated with application dependencies, and the danger increases with greater reliance on external software components:
- Security vulnerabilities: Dependencies can contain bugs or flaws that can be exploited by attackers. It is important to keep dependencies up-to-date and to regularly check for and install any available security patches.
- Compatibility issues: Dependencies are not always compatible with the version of the software they are being used with, or they might rely on other dependencies that are not present.
- License issues: Dependencies may be subject to different licenses, and using them in an application may create legal issues if the terms of the license are not followed. It is important to carefully review the licenses of any dependencies before using them in an application.
- Maintenance and updates: These are essential in order to stay current and secure. If a dependency is no longer maintained or supported, it can become a liability for the application that relies on it.
- Complexity: An application with a large number of dependencies can be more complex to maintain and deploy, as all of the dependencies will need to be managed and kept up-to-date. This can result in something called dependency hell.
How Application Dependencies Impact Software Projects
Application dependencies are an important aspect of software development that can significantly impact the success of a software project. Understanding and managing these dependencies is crucial for building and maintaining high-quality software systems that are resilient, scalable, and easy to maintain:
Application dependencies can make the software more complex to build and maintain.
For example, if a software system has many dependencies on external libraries or frameworks, it may require more coordination between different teams and systems to ensure that these dependencies are properly managed. This can increase the time and effort required to deliver the project, and it can make it more difficult to make changes to the system in the future.
Application dependencies can affect software stability and reliability
If a change is made to a dependent component of the system, it can have unintended consequences on other parts of the system that rely on that component. This can make it more difficult to ensure that new features or changes are safe and reliable, and it can increase the risk of regressions or other issues.
Application dependencies can impact the scalability and performance of a software system
If dependencies are not properly managed or optimized, they can become bottlenecks or points of failure that limit the ability of the system to handle high levels of traffic or workload. This can impact the usability and reliability of the system, and it can reduce the value that it delivers to stakeholders.
Therefore, it is important for software teams to carefully understand and manage application dependencies in order to ensure that their projects are successful. This may require using tools and practices such as dependency mapping, automated testing, and continuous monitoring to track and manage dependencies effectively.
In conclusion, application dependencies can have a significant impact on software development projects. While dependencies can provide valuable functionality and save developers time and effort, they can also increase the complexity of a project, introduce security vulnerabilities, impact performance, and cause conflicts.
It’s important for developers to carefully consider the dependencies that their applications rely on and to try to minimize the number of dependencies as much as possible in order to keep the project simple and maintainable.
By keeping your project simple and maintainable — developers can help ensure that their applications are able to take advantage of the latest innovations and technologies and are able to adapt and evolve over time.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Mikhail Nilov; Pexels; Thank you!
Leveraging Social Media To Grow Your Career In 2023
Employees are ready to change their jobs, with nearly half of American workers planning to look for a new job in the coming six months. According to a new Robert Half report, which surveyed 2,500 professionals, around 46% of them said they plan on making a career or job change in the first half of the year.
Job-hopping has become a workplace trend among young working professionals in the post-pandemic labor market. A recent Gallup study found that 60% of surveyed millennials – ages 27 to 40 years – are more likely to look for different opportunities this year. The percentage of non-millennials workers looking to switch jobs is roughly 15% lower.
A majority of Generation Z candidates have also claimed that they are likely to make a job change this year. In a 2022 Lever Great Resignation report, around 65% of Gen Z professionals said that they are likely to leave their job by the end of the year. Moreover, 13% of them are twice as likely to quit their jobs in the next month.
Job-hopping has become almost synonymous in the post-COVID workforce, and younger professionals are fueling this trend by leaving unfulfilling roles and moving on to greener pastures.
Yet, with so many professionals changing jobs, or looking to switch careers, even against the backdrop of a looming recession, many of them have geared themselves towards social media as a way to build a professional brand and market themselves to potential employers.
Using Social Media For Career Growth
Keeping your social media professional can be a hard ball to juggle. In a 2020 Harris Poll survey, around 70% of employers said that every company should screen candidates’ social media throughout the hiring process. Additionally, the majority of employers – 78% – believe that all their current employees should adhere to a work–appropriate social media profile.
Employees should care about what they share and post on social media. Although the debate over whether social media screening during the hiring process is ethical is still ongoing, candidates willing to leverage social media to develop or boost their careers will need to set up a social media strategy that can help them land the job they want.
Much of our digital identity is pinned to our social media accounts, and a lot of what we share, like and the people we interact with via these channels can speak a great deal of the types of person we are outside of the workplace.
Aside from employees using these platforms to grow their network, or search for possible job opportunities, employers and recruiters are using it to look for any possible red or green flags that you might bring to the workplace.
Social media has moved beyond its traditional form, and today it’s become a digital ecosystem that helps to connect like-minded professionals and their potential employers.
How To Use Social Media To Boost Career Opportunities
Searching for a job is more than browsing through recruitment websites and job listings on LinkedIn or Google. The internet, and social media is a vast place, with near-endless possibilities, and when it comes to growing your career through social media, you will need to know a few things first.
Have A Social Strategy
It might sound strange at first, but having a social media strategy will help you come in contact with the right people faster. Your social media strategy should include building an online identity that reflects your professional and personal side.
You can use different platforms for different connections or networks, it’s all about how you present yourself through your brand. Think of the type of content you share regularly, does it reflect who you are as a professional? How often do you post, or reply to comments and messages? Are there any areas where you can improve or update the information to help you grow your network of contacts?
Write some questions down to get you started, and start working on building an online identity that can get noticed by like-minded individuals in the same industry.
Network With Industry Professionals
Nowadays it’s easier than ever before to reach out to a company or recruiter through their social media, and the same goes for connecting with professionals working in the same industry.
Instead of using social media to only share insightful content, or engage with your friends, try to grow your professional network. On top of this, it’s important to engage with these people as well, even if it’s simply exchanging a few words now and again.
Be active in your mission to get to know the people that are out there, and spend a bit of time researching their profiles to better understand the type of skills and qualifications these people may have. Networking is one of the best possible ways to move around your industry without putting in much effort.
Grow Your Skills
Looking at other people’s social media profiles, whether it’s Twitter or Indeed.com, or even Instagram will give a better idea of the type of skills you might need to develop to help grow and make the next big career jump.
Often professionals will share their skills, and what they’re experts in at the top of their social media accounts, this way it is easier for recruiters to know who the person is, and for like-minded professionals to engage with them.
If you compare the skills of several professionals already working in the field you’re interested in, you will get a better idea of where you might need to upskill yourself by completing some courses or doing a bit of reading.
Advertise Your Expertise
When we say advertise, we don’t necessarily mean flashy and colorful digital adverts that you’d hope will get the attention of your potential employer.
Instead try and convey your expertise through the type of content you can share such as blog posts, news articles, industry research, or even projects you’ve worked on. Additionally, you can also share your job title and relevant experience in the bio section of your profile.
The better you are at showing people your expertise in a professional, yet unpretentious way, the faster your feed will fill up with similar content and other experienced individuals.
Update Your Profiles
This is relevant to almost every social media profile you have, regardless of what you use it for. People often neglect social media platforms they don’t use anymore, and while it can be tedious to spend so much time updating photos or replying to messages, decide on a couple of platforms you’d like to use and stick to them.
Make sure that the platforms you end up using have a recent photo, and that all other relevant personal information has been updated such as your job title, industry experience, and your current city. You don’t need to do this every week, only when needed, or when you’ve changed jobs or moved.
The better you curate your social media, the easier it will be for employers and recruiters to notice you as you actively begin to network.
Social media can be a professional tool, despite it receiving so much negative clout in recent years. Although it’s hard to determine whether possible employers or recruiters will screen your social media accounts before or during the hiring process, it’s best to always keep a well-groomed online identity – especially if you’re looking to make progress in your career.
Make well-informed decisions, and think about the type of content you’re sharing. Remember to engage with like-minded professionals, and have conversations online through the information you share with your followers.
The better you are at curating one or two social media platforms for career purposes, the quicker you’ll be able to expand your network, and grow your professional skills. Don’t think too much about it, try and have a balance as much as possible, as this will help you to enjoy your social media experience while maintaining a professional, yet fun digital identity.
Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Fauxels; Pexels; Thank you!
Have You Heard of These 6 Amazing Ways to Use AI in Construction?
Artificial intelligence might have started as the fictional villain of sci-fi stories, but it’s quickly becoming indispensable in many industries. The construction industry is one among many beginning to adopt this new technology. How can companies and contractors start employing AI in construction? How could this industry 4.0 technology change the industry in the coming years?
1. Programming an Extra Set of Eyes
Drone cameras have already become invaluable for contractors, especially for site surveying and inspections. While they can help keep inspectors and workers safe, they still require a live person behind the camera and the controls. In the future, users could train AI to see, analyze and understand the images they’re observing, reducing or eliminating the need for a human operator or drone pilot.
Human inspectors will still be necessary, but if programmers can teach an extra set of AI-powered eyes to recognize when something is incorrect or missing, it could help streamline these processes.
As a bonus, these AI eyes could potentially recognize or identify errors and safety issues human inspectors might overlook. Observational AI systems rely on pattern recognition and spend most of their time observing hundreds of thousands of images to ensure they can correctly identify their targets.
They don’t experience the problem of familiarity. It’s like editing a piece of text. The more often the author reads it, the more likely they are to overlook errors rather than fix them. AI observational systems don’t have that problem, making them more efficient for safety applications.
2. Turning Data into Actionable Insights
Construction might be one of the slowest industries to adopt new technologies. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped the slow introduction of smart building. Incorporating devices into a construction project generates massive amounts of data. Without an AI or machine learning system, that information languishes in digital limbo. Skilled analysts may be able to make heads or tails of it, but putting it to use requires additional tools.
In construction, AI can sort through massive amounts of data, find patterns and deliver actionable insights that can improve productivity and worksite efficiency. It can use equipment maintenance data to create a better care schedule, preventing costly downtime due to equipment failure. With enough information, it can even predict when these maintenance cycles should occur based on past data.
3. Adopting Virtual Assistants
Alexa or Siri might seem like something users only need after their shift ends, but these virtual assistants and many others can help improve outcomes. Digital helpers designed for construction applications can manage communication, bolster inter-team coordination, schedule and track appointments, and more. Advanced assistants can access data generated by the above technology and help with budgeting and estimation.
Modern helpers may take time to customize to a company’s specific needs, but their benefits vastly outweigh the time investment. Utilizing natural language processing (NLP) can make these virtual tools even more powerful. NLP allows users to speak to their virtual assistants as they would to the person next to them.
4. Incorporating AI Into Wearable Technologies
Like virtual assistants, wearable technology might not seem like it has much of a place in the construction industry, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fitbits and Apple Watches might not offer much, but they are far from the only wearable devices available in the construction industry.
Monitoring an employee’s heart rate and other vital statistics can indicate when they might be in distress. Fatigue monitors can prevent on-the-job accidents by alerting supervisors when someone is operating heavy equipment while not adequately rested. Impact sensors can detect when someone experiences a fall. Connecting these wearable sensors to a centralized AI in construction sites allows the system to monitor employees in real-time and send alerts as needed.
5. Procuring and Supply Chains
Supply chains across industries took a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The price of some construction supplies skyrocketed, and the supply chains for other materials slowed to a crawl — if they were still available. Incorporating AI into procurement and supply chain systems can help improve efficiency and reduce the chance an upset like the pandemic could derail these supply chains again.
There are applications for AI and related technologies throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing and harvesting to those last-mile deliveries. Sensors can collect information about everything from location to distance traveled. They can monitor temperature and humidity for materials requiring more climate control, making it easier to protect all necessary supplies while in transit. Pairing these sensors with an AI system can make sense of data while generating actionable insights.
6. Integrating Robotics and Automation
Contrary to the story popular media tries to spin, robots aren’t appearing in workplaces intending to steal jobs. Instead, they could help improve workplace efficiency and reduce on-the-job injuries by completing mundane, repetitive, or dangerous tasks. Introducing robotics and automation can lower the potential for stress injuries since construction workers are most frequently diagnosed with this type of ailment.
When it comes to dangerous tasks, AI-powered robotics or automation are ideal. These applications can include everything from cleaning tanks or operating in low-oxygen environments to completing tasks in situations that would otherwise be unsafe for human life. While it is currently possible to use these robots manually via remote control, adding AI to the mix would free up workers for more critical or complex tasks employers can’t automate.
Looking to the Future of AI in Construction
There are so many amazing applications for AI construction that it’s easy to forget it’s still novel technology. It will take some time before the industry is ready to adopt this technology and capitalize on all its benefits. AI could make all the difference for companies looking to differentiate themselves in this competitive field.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh; Unsplash; Thank you!