AI in Construction: Not a Heavy Lift – and Needed More Than Ever

Synaptiq’s 2021 Artificial Intelligence in Construction Report reveals industry leaders are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic focused on innovating faster and responding better to future challenges. They are leveraging existing tools, site camera data, and applying analytics to optimize productivity, maximize profits, and ensure health and safety compliance.

Portland, Oregon, UNITED STATES

Portland, OR, June 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading Artificial Intelligence firm Synaptiq released its 2021 AI in Construction Industry Report, providing key insights and actionable recommendations for construction firms seeking to pursue AI-enabled innovation.

In the report, Synaptiq outlines industry leaders’ top objectives for business operations, productivity, and cost management, as well as emerging artificial intelligence opportunities across the project lifecycle. The report also provides insider insights, including the application of Intelligent Document Processing and a real-world Machine Vision solution currently being piloted by a large multinational construction company.

Synaptiq found that technological advancements are moving rapidly in the construction industry, touching all areas of the ecosystem. New construction technology companies are shaking up the industry, from the digital transformation of the design process to preconstruction estimation software, scheduling, predictive analytics, and asset management. With these new technologies and industry-wide digital transformation comes data – and lots of it. 

The deluge of data creates opportunities for AI to catalyze automation throughout the project lifecycle, from design management to preconstruction, prefabrication, construction, resource and equipment management, operations, scheduling and staffing, health and safety compliance, and project retrospectives. 

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) is a specific type of process automation where technologies such as Machine Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) work together to improve output over time. IDP eliminates repetitive tasks that would otherwise be performed manually. It is particularly useful for construction companies managing a large volume of documents such as invoices, change orders, blueprints, contracts, and client correspondence, which cannot be fully processed by existing software. One immediate use-case for IDP in construction companies will be to respond to the dramatic fluctuations in the cost of wood, and handling the massive amounts of documents that result.  

In Synaptiq’s report, construction leaders also highlighted that getting the “fundamentals right” – such as establishing data mastery and cultural readiness within their organizations – was imperative. For some firms, it is an uphill battle to get their teams to embrace technology innovations, and many leaders are just beginning to wrap their heads around AI’s potential themselves.

Regarding data, Synaptiq learned that it was not a problem of a lack of data – but rather, how to find it, aggregate it, have a strategy around it, and what to do with it, according to Synaptiq CEO Stephen Sklarew.

“For example, many construction companies already have cameras recording a treasure trove of data on sites, but they may not know what to do with their data,” says Sklarew. “By applying analytics to this stream of data, they can address productivity, compliance, and safety issues as they happen – and not just retrospectively for audits. Solutions that help keep track of teams and prevent injuries can reduce a lot of stress, reduce risk, and keep projects on schedule and under budget.”

Synaptiq recently developed a machine vision solution for construction companies to monitor site productivity and audit site safety where users are able to designate regions of interest in incoming video feeds, train the solution to detect any visual objects (such as people and equipment), and review reports. Detailed logs for each detected object are available as outputs to be integrated with existing back-end systems for analysis, reporting, real-time monitoring, and alerts related to project management, scheduling, health and safety, security, and other purposes.

For more information about this work or Synaptiq’s other projects in construction and related industries, visit

About Synaptiq

Founded in 2015, Synaptiq is a data science and AI consultancy with over 50 clients in more than 20 sectors worldwide. Our firm develops and deploys actionable solutions using machine learning, machine vision, natural language processing, and other data-driven techniques. We help clients discover, organize, and leverage the data they have to streamline processes, increase productivity, and drive further innovation.


Synaptiq’s machine vision solution for construction is trained to analyze photos and frames of video to identify and label the presence of specific classes of objects on-site (above: dump truck, excavator, visitors.) Detailed output logs can be integrated with existing back-end systems for analysis, reporting, real-time monitoring, and alerts related to project management, scheduling, health & safety, and security.

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