Fluor to use IBM artificial intelligence on megaprojects

American engineer Fluor has announced that it will use IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) system Watson on large projects from inception to completion. The aim is to predict how engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction will perform, and then measure in real time how they do.

Fluor will use Watson’s project health diagnostics and its market dynamics/spend analytics systems, which, according to Fluor, will "transform complex data into actionable business insights".

IBM Research and IBM Services worked with Fluor to identify "thousands of data points across the entire life cycle of capital projects".

AI will be able to use historical trends and patterns to predict issues such as rising costs or delays. It will also be able to identify the root causes of issues and the impact of changes in the decision-making process, including estimate analysis, forecast evaluation, project risk assessment and critical path analysis.

Leslie Lindgren, Fluor’s vice president for IT, said: "We will be using these innovations on megaprojects to quickly discover trends, patterns and meaning in our structured and unstructured data."

Ray Barnard, a senior executive vice president with Fluor, said: "The ability to rapidly analyse and comprehend big data that drives decisions at any point throughout the engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of today’s megaprojects is an imperative for the success of our company and the protection of our clients’ capital investments."

Image: Fluor’s headquarters in Irving, Texas (Fluor)

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