What began with the blend of data and geospatial technology in construction is continuing with new combinations of technical fields and disciplines, including artificial intelligence, writes Fakhar Khalid, chief scientific officer for Sensat. Khalid explores the advent of algorithms driving automation, digital twins and other technologies and how they’re transforming the industry as it fulfills future visions for infrastructure and cities.



The construction industry is not just one of the oldest industries; it’s also one of the least digitized industries. Human societies could not have achieved amazing things without the architecture, engineering, and construction Industry (AEC), yet many practices in constructing infrastructure have not changed for centuries. By nature and default, AEC is risk-averse, which is an attitude that also applies to technological adoption.

In the last decade, geospatial technology has helped to illuminate how technology can transform infrastructure projects.The onset of the pandemic accelerated the need for these ideas to become practiced in reality. Physical projects either had to halt or make a leap of faith into digital transformation.

The AEC industry is still in the early stages of AI adoption, taking steps towards the widespread digital literacy necessary for progress. However, the mindset change is happening now, and key players are taking this transition seriously. What was once a fringe idea will become a core value for future infrastructure projects.


Tech, construction and the demands of progress

The AEC industry is a conglomerate of many different disciplines that are presently being transformed by various technologies, and we are on the cusp of this exciting evolution.

From a managerial level to physical work, tech can be implemented to improve visibility, communication, efficiency, and productivity, but it all begins with data.In the 1980s, the collaboration between data scientists and geographers began, bringing two seemingly unrelated fields together that revolutionized how we map, measure and understand physical environments.

ow marriages between different disciplines and technical fields continuously expand possibilities. New technologies provide a scope of implementation that is entirely open to how people can envision their future applications.