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A Beginner’s Guide to AI in the Trades

Beginners guide to ai in the trades blog header

While the trades are primarily (human) hands-on, artificial intelligence (AI) has created an opportunity to increase business efficiency. Implementing any new technology is daunting, but it can also be exciting. If you have the right mindset, know where to begin, and stay focused on what truly matters, implementing AI into your business will be highly beneficial.

Follow along for practical takeaways on dipping your toes into AI.

Making the Most of AI: Practical Tips

Like any software (or relationship!), approaching it with the right mindset makes a world of difference. Having realistic expectations of AI’s capabilities and limitations will set you up for success.

Have an Open Mind

Open-mindedness is essential for embracing AI’s potential. To be open-minded, you must recognize its power and its diverse applications. But don’t forget, doing something new always comes with a learning curve. Don’t get discouraged if you hit a roadblock!

Understanding the capabilities of AI is essential for keeping your mind open. Engaging in continuous learning and staying informed about the latest advancements in technology is key. Seeking diverse perspectives and talking with experts and peers can help broaden understanding and promote inclusivity in AI development. 

It is important to be open to trying new things and adapting to new ideas and methods. This helps maintain a healthy approach to AI. Stay curious, open-minded, and flexible to use AI’s power wisely. 

Be Curious

Embracing AI with a spirit of curiosity is crucial in navigating the ever-evolving landscape of technology. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into our lives and industries, it’s essential to cultivate a mindset that fosters exploration and discovery — while keeping ethics and society in mind.

AI may seem complex, but we can approach it with curiosity instead of stress or worry. We can be amazed by the new capabilities it offers. Countless exciting possibilities are waiting to be explored.

We can improve efficiency, decision-making, and creativity by using AI in our daily tasks. This can benefit both our personal and work lives. Learning about AI is important for achieving these benefits in various aspects of our lives. 

Approach Without Fear

If thinking about AI tools brings up feelings of fear and anxiety in you, you aren’t alone. But letting that fear hold us back and limit our potential means missing out on all the incredible ways it can improve our lives! Acknowledging our fear and pushing past it opens doors to innovation and collaboration. 

Instead of being scared, let’s be curious and open-minded about what AI can achieve, whether it’s advancing healthcare or tackling big environmental challenges. Plus, by keeping an eye on ethics and responsibility, we can make sure AI works for everyone’s benefit. So, let’s dive in without fear and make AI a force for good!

Construction AI

How Is AI Already Being Implemented in the Trades?

The trades and construction industry is rapidly integrating AI into its work processes to enhance efficiency and productivity. One trade currently implementing AI is construction. AI tools like Building Information Modeling (BIM) are changing how buildings are designed by using generative design to improve traditional methods. BIM enables construction professionals to gain valuable insights throughout the planning, design, and management phases of building projects.

By leveraging AI, BIM can identify misalignments between models, thereby preventing costly rework and ensuring smoother project execution. AI facilitates risk mitigation by automatically assigning priorities to issues, allowing teams to address critical concerns promptly and proactively manage project risks.

New technology is changing how job sites are managed, allowing managers to track and improve operations instantly. CompanyCam launched two AI-powered tools—AI Note and Quick Caption—that allow teams to create daily logs, inspection reports, and photo captions by simply talking to their phone.

CompanyCam also gives project managers unprecedented visibility into job sites, allowing them to track progress, manage resources efficiently, and make data-driven decisions on the fly. 

To enhance design processes and job site management, AI can help with customer service and supply chain management. Chatbots help customers quickly get information and solve problems, saving time and resources. These chatbots leverage advanced natural language processing algorithms to understand and respond to customer queries, improving overall satisfaction and responsiveness. 

In supply chain management, AI plays a crucial role in forecasting demand and offering insights into inventory management strategies. Artificial Intelligence algorithms can analyze data to predict future demand accurately. This helps companies optimize inventory, reduce stockouts, and lower carrying costs.

AI is improving, and companies are increasingly using it in customer service and supply chain operations. This will help make things more efficient, flexible, and satisfying for customers in the trades industry.

By harnessing these new capabilities, companies can streamline workflows, minimize delays, and enhance overall productivity on job sites. As these tools improve and spread to different parts of the trades, they have the potential to change how industries work. They can help professionals be more accurate, efficient, and successful in their projects.

Construction program

Programs to Look Into

Trade businesses can significantly enhance their operations by leveraging ChatGPT, Copilot, and MidJourney. 

ChatGPT can revolutionize customer service by providing instant, personalized assistance to clients, answering queries, and guiding them through purchasing decisions. 

Copilot, with its coding assistance capabilities, enables trade businesses to streamline software development processes, accelerating the creation of e‑commerce platforms, inventory management systems, and other digital tools essential for trade operations. 

Additionally, MidJourney’s predictive analytics empowers businesses to optimize supply chain management, anticipate market trends, and make data-driven decisions to enhance efficiency and profitability. 

Other software to look into include:

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools: used to analyze customer feedback and reviews, gather insights for data, and automate tasks.

  • Computer Vision Systems: helps with quality control processes by immediately inspecting products for defects and assisting with inventory management.

  • Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) Systems: assist with training and onboarding new employees in a safe and controlled environment.

By integrating these technologies, trade businesses can enhance customer experiences, boost productivity, and stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive market landscape.

The Importance of Human Beings

The trades have been fairly resilient to the advancing AI and technology. Despite the widespread adoption of automation, skilled trades like HVAC, electrical, plumbing, painting, etc. remain largely untouched” by AI because of the intricate, hands-on nature of the work. 

While AI can enhance efficiency and productivity, it cannot fully replicate the expertise and problem-solving abilities of skilled tradespeople. There is an ongoing demand for individuals in the trades, which adds to the importance of people continuing to invest in vocational education and training.

Automation and AI should be used to take care of busy work and repetitive, time-consuming tasks, allowing skilled individuals to focus their efforts on more meaningful and high-value endeavors. By delegating routine responsibilities to automated systems, organizations can streamline operations, increase efficiency, and minimize errors. This approach not only optimizes productivity but also cultivates an environment where human creativity, critical thinking, and innovation can flourish. 

Embracing automation in this manner empowers workers to concentrate on tasks that require empathy, intuition, and complex problem-solving, ultimately fostering a workplace culture centered around quality work and continuous improvement.

Ready to try AI?

Whether it is learning how to roof a house, ride a bike, or implement AI into your business, there’s always a learning curve. Don’t expect to be perfect the first time you experiment with it. Don’t get discouraged! You can do it! Keep testing and experimenting.

Being curious helps us adjust to change, stay ahead, and fully benefit from AI. Let’s explore and embrace the amazing power of AI together with open minds and eager energy on this journey of discovery.

With CompanyCam’s AI features, you can describe what you see without typing, and AI will summarize your long-winded talk into short, organized bullet points. Just think out loud while you’re taking pictures, and AI Note will format everything automatically.

As the Brand Strategist at CompanyCam, Micki builds compelling narratives about those in the trades, researches brand positioning opportunities, strategizes effective distribution of content materials, interviews customers, and meets all the cool influencers at trade shows. After work, Micki can be found watching FIFA highlights, analyzing drama from The Bachelor, trying out new recipes, and lecturing her incorrigible cat, Tommy. It’s the little things.

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