Don't Use AI for Everything. Apply Construction AI in These Tasks for Max Results

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IRONPROS: For businesses and operators, what are the challenges of using AI in the field?

Trunk Tools: AI in the field needs to be easy to use, readily accessible and dependable. The software needs to integrate with existing project document repositories, properly understand construction documents and keep sensitive data safe. For example, ChatGPT is powerful yet lacks the proper context about construction and project-specific nuances to give accurate answers.

The high cost of making a mistake based on erroneous information requires a cautious yet proactive “trust but verify” approach toward AI until accuracy is improved. 

IRONPROS: What can construction professionals do to ensure they are maximizing the potential of AI tools?

Trunk Tools: Construction professionals should adopt AI tools in ways to boost productivity, like a co-pilot that helps them with their daily tasks. For example, an AI tool may not be able to reconcile submittals and other documentation yet. But early AI tools can help you find the most applicable, up-to-date submittal and summarize the details in seconds.

Finding places in your workflow to leverage the power of AI can save many hours in the long run, creating a competitive edge for construction companies.

IRONPROS: What types of projects or tasks should you use AI with? What types of projects or tasks should you not use AI with?

Trunk Tools: AI is going to change many aspects of the construction industry eventually, but for now, large language models are most valuable for text-based project documentation. Tasks using language, like text summary and keyword search to find relevant information are the best use cases right now. Tasks that require more intuition, like determining whether undocumented structural issues in a building require additional reinforcements, will be more challenging to use AI for. But the rate of improvement in AI is increasing so quickly that more use cases, like understanding drawings and blueprints, will be possible in the near future.

Our internal R&D team has already made substantial strides in leveraging and fine-tuning vision models to extract data from drawings.

IRONPROS: Provide an overview of the company and its mission.

Trunk Tools: Trunk Tools is a platform that addresses the widespread skilled labor shortage in construction by making workers more productive. Applying a combination of fintech, AI-based construction document search and behavioral and economic psychology, Trunk Tools helps companies meet project deadlines, stay within budget and save workers’ time.

IRONPROS: What solutions are you providing for construction businesses?

Trunk Tools: We have two products, built for the field.

  • TrunkText is a game-changing, patent-pending, text message and web-based AI tool designed to transform the way construction professionals access critical project information.
  • TrunkPerform is a tool that improves project time, budget and safety outcomes by incentivizing workers to complete project goals.

IRONPROS: What can customers expect from Trunk Tools in 2024?

Trunk Tools: We are beginning large enterprise rollouts of both our products: TrunkText and TrunkPerform. Later this year, we are excited to introduce groundbreaking functionalities around AI agents that will create even more synergies between technology and day-to-day construction workflows.

ABOUT DR. SARAH BUCHNER

Dr. Sarah Buchner is the founder and CEO of Trunk Tools, a construction technology startup that exploded on the scene in 2023 with the launch of two products. TrunkText is a game-changing, patent-pending, text message-based AI tool designed to transform the way construction professionals access critical project information. TrunkPerform is a tool that improves project time, budget and safety outcomes by incentivizing workers to complete project goals.

Dr. Buchner is an ENR California Top Young Professionals award winner and a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree.


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