Artificial Intelligence in the Construction Industry

Greg Lalevee, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, examines the integration of artificial intelligence into the construction industry; the importance of keeping the Transportation Trust funded and improving infrastructure; and projections for 2019.

12/8/18 #230






"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. Once again, we are coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV studio in beautiful Brick City, Newark, New Jersey. It happens to be a rainy day out there today, but I was gonna say there are sunny things to talk about, but that whole thing didn't work. We have some challenging things to talk about with our good friend Greg Lalevee, who is Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, which is? Help folks understand what that is Greg. 7,100 men and women who operate heavy construction equipment, work on transportation infrastructure. We also maintain and fix equipment. We also mine aggregates. I don't know what aggregates are, but that's a whole nother story. Oh, rock. Sand. So we... Why didn't you say that? Why didn't you...? [laughter] So... but you know what's interesting? Our colleagues at ROI-NJ, a great publication with really interesting news, there was a feature story on you and your colleagues and some others in this industry who are modernizing and dealing with robotics in a different way. Talk about why that's so important. Well artificial intelligence, mechanization, and robotics, is about to take over our industry. As operators of machines, we see it coming into our view everyday. There's GPS control on bulldozers and excavators, there are sophisticated computers on cranes, so we're building an educational platform so that we can teach our current members how to master the technology, and as we bring in new members and apprentices, that we dovetail them into what the technology of the day will do. Dramatically changes the industry? It completely changes. Are there more jobs, fewer jobs, or different jobs? It's going to be different jobs. We think about the same number. But over the 122 years of the Operating Engineers, we saw the changes from steam to diesel, and then we saw the changes of cable manipulation and machines to hydraulics, but this is the most dramatic change we'll ever see, because as everybody knows technology changes so rapidly. So we want to make sure we have the platform to change with it. By the way, if you want to... very often, what we do here in public television, we tell you about something, you want to find out more, our team will put up the ROI-NJ website, it happens to be on the November 5th, 2018 edition of ROI, it's a feature story on robotics and technology. How about this? You and I talk a lot offline about this, quote-unquote, "Gateway Tunnel." Where are we, and what is the problem? Is it simply money? Well it's coming down to everybody deciding what they can put in the game to get..."