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Arup chief talks to robot

arup robot chat 2

A senior engineering figure has said in an interview with a robot that artificial intelligence will have a “hugely profound impact” on construction.

Arup director and ICE fellow Tim Chapman was interviewed by Nao for a series of videos to be shown at the Ecobuild conference in London this week.

Chapman said artificial intelligence (AI) represented a fourth industrial revolution after the advent of steam power, electricity and computers.

Arup director and ICE fellow Tim Chapman interviewed by intelligent robot Nao

“AI is going to have a hugely profound impact on the things we do in the construction industry,” he told Nao. “Lots of things will change utterly.

“The long meetings we have on sites at the moment, with all the different opinions and egos that have to be brought to bear – there must be a more efficient way through that.”

Chapman added: “We humans use a lot of time squabbling and arguing and, when processes become better, things will become much more efficient.”

Created by technology firm Alderbaran, Nao is made up of a multitude of sensors, motors and software piloted by a made-to-measure operating system.

The Nao video is one of a series being shown at the ICE’s Infrastructure Revolution hub at Ecobuild in London this week. This hub is designed to provide a place for the industry to discuss the key issues that will affect it in the future – such as population growth, technological advance and artificial intelligence.

A report published on ‘Back to the Future Day’ last autumn predicted a construction industry in 2045 where robot foremen could manage projects.


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