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Hello, everyone. Time for our weekly roundup of articles at the intersection of building information modeling (BIM); artificial intelligence (AI); and the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space.  Here goes:

Microsoft's HoloLens continues to impress forward-thinking members of the AEC community. Global Construction Review (GCR) reports that AECOM has become the first construction company to use the technology on-site. "Stephen Kadenacy, AECOM's president, said: 'With this technology we can gain greater clarity earlier in the design review process than with 2D drawings or 3D models on screen, and team members in different locations, each wearing a headset, can simultaneously explore the same holographic projections.' " They are testing its functionality on sites in London, Hong Kong, and Denver, including sites with "unconventional structures."


AECOM and the HoloLens in action. (Source: Global Construction Review)

BIM and BAM! GCR also reported this week that Royal BAM Group showcased a new, autonomous, 3D-printing robot. The machine can move freely about a site and print in stone or concrete. Its free movement allows for complex details and "free-form architecture... It is also an attempt to make the building industry more 'circular' – that is, it can recycle its own products by making building out of waste concrete and stone." No longer will demolished buildings be just a pile of rubbish; this technology will take "green" building to a new level.

3D printing can create gorgeous, fluid, and unexpected structures faster and more efficiently than ever before. (Source: Global Construction Review)

Speaking of green, Tryptique Architecture has proposed a groundbreaking planfor combatting pollution associated with an elevated portion of freeway in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The design calls for "the use of oxygen-heavy plants that would filter up to 20% of CO omissions originating from traffic on the highway and surrounding streets." While it may seem minor, that's a significant reduction for the neighborhood when considering the amount of emissions heavy traffic produces. The design also incorporates an integrated watering system and maximization of open space to ensure the plants are properly watered and well lit. It also includes plans to turn a suffocated community into a thriving cultural center.

Freeway underpasses have never been so healthy or lush before! (Source: BDC Network)

Put your Skynet fears aside – The Wall Street Journal reported this week that while AI may cause a serious disruption in the job market, it's unlikely that it will ever take over. According to Yann LeCun, director of artificial intelligence research at Facebook, "Despite these astonishing advances, we are a long way from machines that are as intelligent as humans – or even rats. So far, we've seen only 5% of what AI can do." LeCun and others also agree that the monumentally complex nature of creating artificial intelligence requires collaboration to the extent that even the most malevolent of entities would have to bypass an innate system of checks and balances to program their Terminator. Technology keeps reminding us that nothing is impossible, but there are still prospects that remain highly unlikely.

 AI is just getting started... (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

That, however, won't stop you from using Alexa to summon your Tesla! Jason Goeke has created code that allows you to use the Amazon Echo virtual assistant to pull your Tesla Model X or S out of the garage. Not yet officially sanctioned by Elon Musk, Goeke has made an appeal to Tesla to open its API to developers in the hopes of developing a slew of apps that "even Elon Musk hasn't dreamed of (yet)." Check out the article to see video of KITT (awesome) in action.

The future of driving doesn't actually involve any driving. (Source: Futurism)

More cool stuff you say? Well who doesn't like blowing stuff up?! Check outPhysics Girl as she and Arc Attack (remember them?) demonstrate howelectromagnets can shear a can in half. Sheer delight for kids of all ages.

Have a great week!

Tags: BIM Artificial Intelligence Architecture and Planning

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