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Breaking Ground: A Challenging Future Ahead

man in a suit walking towards buildings

The construction industry is usually the last one to get the newest technology but once it does, the impact would be massive, and the industry will scale fast.

Introduction of NFTs

A digital world still seems to be too futuristic for us to imagine but in recent years, the world was able to take a step forward and open new doors of opportunities. Through these doors, the term NFT or non-fungible token was introduced to the world.

NFTs are being used to digitize artworks and allow artists to fully own their rights to their assets. If you are going to think about it, traditional photos and artworks can be uploaded on the internet and then, others can freely download the file of the image. Do NFTs prevent this feature? Not really.

NFTs are assets that cannot be replaced or duplicated. The reason behind this is that these assets hold a certain on-chain metadata. This metadata often consists of ownership details, description, asset ID, asset history, etc. (NFT’S STREET, 2021).

Imagine if no one was able to verify that Leonardo da Vinci was the first one who created the Mona Lisa then, no one can truly prove who the first creator was. The new technology behind NFTs which is called blockchain prevents this potential verification problem. In the world of blockchain technology, everything is accessible and verifiable by the public.

It is understandable that NFTs will be hard to grasp. All revolutionary things in history were hard to grasp, specially in their early conception. Even though very few people immediately understood NFTs, the idea completely broke the internet back in 2021 when people started incorporating large amounts of money into NFTs.

One of the historical moments in showing the world the real potential of NFTs happened when the digital artist “Krista Kim” sold the first NFT digital home called “Mars House” for $512,000 at that time or 288 Ethereum tokens. The “Mars House” NFT acts as a digital certificate of ownership for the one who bought the asset (Hybevo, n.d.).

The “Mars House” NFT is a 3D digital file built through Unreal Engine which is mostly used in video game development. Currently, the house can only be experienced in Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. Without VR, the Mars House just looks like a traditional 2D photo.

The challenge:

For NFTs to be fully incorporated into the construction industry, VR and AR technology must further be developed and perfected first. Once this door of opportunity fully opens, the industry’s transition will be fast and aggressive.

Rise of Artificial Intelligence

AI or artificial intelligence revolves around the application of machine learning algorithms to our daily lives. For machines to acquire artificial intelligence, they need to “learn” first from existing data or through a large set of data inputs from humans. AI has potential impact to almost all industries but, in this section, we will only be focusing on the construction industry.

The impacts of AI can range from improvement of design, planning, and execution of construction projects. If we are going to ask someone about AI in the construction industry, the first thing that might come to mind is the introduction of AI-operated machines in the construction site. While this is a good possibility in the future, let us not ignore the huge potential that AI can also improve the aspects of coordination between project stakeholders (Ibrahim, 2022).

The following are the benefits of introducing AI to the construction industry:

  • AI-generated Progress Reports

  • Data collection can be done through sensors on construction equipment.