Ambient Intelligence in civil engineering


There is no doubt that ambient (or artificial) intelligence that aims to enhance the way we interact with the environment is shaping the world, and has impeccable effects in promoting safety and technology to enrich our lives. In civil engineering, Machine Learning (ML), has a very imperative role to play. The legendary architect, Le Corbusier wrote in 1923 that “a house is a machine for living,” and here he was referring metaphorically to the utilitarian purposes that home serves. Today, civil engineering structures are becoming more like machines, with the increasing incorporation of ML and AI in their construction. 

Latest Developments

•Nowadays the buildings can sense their occupants: their activities, needs, and routines. They also measure temperature, vibration, noise level, and much more.
•Building information modeling(BIM) gives architecture, engineering, and construction professionals insights to efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.
•Artificial neural network (ANN) mitigates the problems of interpreting through conventional approaches for tide forecasting, earthquake-induced liquefaction, and wave-induced seabed instability.
•Embedded sensors are being used in bridges that monitor stress and damage. They reduce maintenance costs and increase life span.

Working procedure

Essentially, ML comprises two distinct branches, supervised and unsupervised.

Supervised learning uses labeled responses, which means that for a set of inputs, an algorithm could yield a specified result. An algorithm here can analyze the measurements to make recommendations about the structure, in the first place, and then the need for maintenance. 

Unsupervised machine learning looks at and analyses raw, unstructured data and spots patterns that may be difficult or extremely time-consuming for humans to discover. Identifying and processing specific patterns here, with human aid, can gain magnificent results. 

Future trends

Robotics, AI, and the internet of things can reduce building costs by up to 20%. Engineers can do virtual reality goggles and send mini-robots into buildings under construction. AI will make job sites more productive. 

In this era, when we are aspiring for perfection, the interaction between humans and machines has become very crucial for the development of every field, civil engineering being no exception. The innumerable aspects of AI will infuse the awakening of a new era in civil engineering.

WRITTEN BY: Adarsh Swarnakar


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