Crunching the numbers: New AI tool brings construction scheduling into modern era

An experienced project scheduler can spend months mapping out one, or perhaps two, iterations for a complex construction job. “ALICE” can simulate and assess millions in the course of an afternoon.

ALICE Technologies' partnership with Parsons Corporation featured in On-Site Magazine

An experienced project scheduler can spend months mapping out one, or perhaps two, iterations for a complex construction job. “ALICE” can simulate and assess millions in the course of an afternoon.

It takes planning teams from a reality where they often have just a single option, to a simulation where the number of sequences are practically limitless, says René Morkos, the CEO and co-founder of ALICE Technologies Inc. “You add a crane, add a delay, change the design, try overtime, try fast-drying concrete [or] change the amount of formwork. Whatever it is that you want to do, you change it, and the change ripples through your system.”

A generative construction simulator powered by artificial intelligence, ALICE, an acronym drawn from ArtificiaL Intelligence Construction Engineering, gives construction firms plotting out projects the ability to optimize resources, fine-tune their timing and overcome constraints in ways that human planners couldn’t work through alone.

“Let the humans do what they’re good at, which is the gut sense, the understanding of reality, the risk analysis, those kinds of things,” Morkos says. “Let the machines do what they’re good at, which is crunching.”

 

It’s one tool in a growing arsenal of software solutions to which contractors are turning to tackle increasingly complicated projects in an industry that’s always had to juggle a huge number of moving parts.



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