Ways that artificial intelligence can enhance infrastructure

An innovative ICE workshop brought together data scientists and built environment professionals to explore how artificial intelligence can enhance existing infrastructure.

AI workshop: ways of looking at existing infrastructure systems
AI workshop: ways of looking at existing infrastructure systems

How artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can improve and enhance existing infrastructure was discussed by built environment professionals and data scientists at a recent ICE workshop.

The event sought to facilitate conversations between civil engineers and data scientists, generating new ideas about how better data and the application of AI can improve the operation of existing infrastructure and enable predictive maintenance.

The event was held in partnership with The Alan Turing Institute and techUK. Ideas that came out of the group workshop included proposed systems to predict embankment collapses, reduce tunnel road closures at Heathrow and iterative validation of existing underground infrastructure data.

Andrew Wyllie CBE, ICE Senior Vice President and Costain Chief Executive, said: "This event provided an important opportunity for the built environment and digital sectors to come together to look at ways existing infrastructure systems can seize the opportunities from changing technologies and practices.”

Burcin Becerik-Gerber, Rutherford Visiting Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute said: "The quality and range of ideas were incredible and show we already have the knowledge to transform the way infrastructure and technology come together for enabling intelligent predictive maintenance of our infrastructure. Our next step is putting these ideas into practice to shape the future.”

Sue Daley, Head of Cloud, Data Analytics and AI at techUK, said: "There is a lot of excitement about what machine learning and AI technologies could actually mean in practice for the built environment.

"This event brought to life how the application of AI in predictive maintenance could result in productivity gains across a number of sectors and the UK economy as a whole. This has shown what can be achieved and created connections between the AI community and infrastructure industry, which will be key to making the UK AI ready.”