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Turner Construction Company

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Turner and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Host New York AI Innovation Symposium

The theme of the symposium was “Exploring the Future of AI in the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Industry.”

Turner Construction Company and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat New York Chapter hosted an Innovation Symposium at The Spiral in New York City. The event brought together industry professionals across disciplines to explore the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in the design and construction of buildings and cities. 

The symposium kicked off with a keynote by Professor Karan Girotra, co-founder and professor at Cornell Tech, and leading AI strategy consultant. Professor Girotra demystified recent AI advancements and discussed their far-reaching implications for the built environment and beyond. Drawing parallels to historical innovations like the steam engine and the power loom, he emphasized that AI will revolutionize industries similarly, starting with productivity enhancements and eventually enabling entirely new business models. 

Following the keynote, Robert Otani, Chief Technology Officer at Thornton-Tomasetti, Inc., moderated a panel discussion with Charlie Whitney, Vice President & General Manager at Turner Construction Company, Charles Portelli, Associate and Digital Innovation Strategist at Perkins & Will’s I/O group, and Karan Girotra. The panelists shared their perspectives on AI’s current and future impact on the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. They discussed AI-driven productivity enhancements, the evolution of job roles, and AI’s potential to surmount longstanding industry challenges. The discussion also emphasized the importance of governance and responsible use of AI in driving innovation in the AEC industry. 

The event also provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to network and discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by AI in the AEC industry. The insights shared by the keynote speaker and panelists inspired lively discussions about the future of urban development and the role of AI in creating more sustainable, efficient, and innovative buildings and cities. 

“It was wonderful to host this event with the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat,” said Charlie Whitney, Vice President and General Manager, Turner Construction Company. “AI is already shaping the future of the construction industry and helping companies move forward. Turner is focused on integrating cutting-edge AI solutions into our everyday operations. The engaging discussions underscored the importance of collaboration in driving technological advancements and highlighted the collective effort required to harness AI's full potential to build a more sustainable, efficient, and innovative future for urban development.” 

This event marks another step in Turner’s ongoing commitment to adopting AI technologies and capabilities. Turner is investing heavily in AI to enhance efficiency across various departments, including engineering, project management, construction operations, and finance. By leveraging AI solutions, Turner empowers employees to mine and analyze vast amounts of data effectively. The Turner Engineering Group is particularly focused on integrative generative design, exploring how AI can optimize and innovate engineering processes. 

Building on the success of the 2023 Innovation Summit themed “From Artificial Intelligence to Intelligence Augmentation,” Turner launched a 2024 AI Innovation Challenge with a dynamic “AI Opportunity Mapping” workshop. “The workshop highlighted the critical role AI can play in enhancing safety,” said Martine Sanders, Vice President and General Manager, Turner Construction Company. "By leveraging AI, we aim to develop impactful solutions that help us achieve our Building L.I.F.E.® vision of living injury-free every day.” The program will include a multi-day AI Design Sprint Hackathon, where Turner teams, external consultants, and developers will collaboratively design and prototype AI solutions. These innovation events are pivotal in exploring transformative AI applications across the company's operations.

About The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 

CTBUH is the world’s leading nonprofit organization for all those interested in the future of cities. It explores how increased urban density and vertical growth can support more sustainable and healthy cities, especially in the face of mass urbanization and the increasing effects of climate change worldwide. The relationship between policy, buildings, people, urban density, urban space, interior space, and infrastructure is key. Learn more here.