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The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Modern Engineering: Opportunities and Challenges

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Artificial Intelligence is one of the most relevant topics of the 2020s. The rise of tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, and Stable Diffusion have made Artificial Intelligence accessible to more individuals—as a result, more people now understand AI and its effects on society. 

And while AI has its impact on nearly every industry imaginable, it has had an incredibly profound impact on engineering. Today, engineering encompasses a wide variety of activities like software engineering, construction, and aerospace engineering, among many others. 

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most pressing opportunities and challenges that come with an evolving AI landscape and how we can navigate some of those issues. 

Artificial Intelligence: A History and Definition

Although Artificial Intelligence feels like an idea that came about within the last decade, it’s actually been around for far longer than that. 

Artificial Intelligence as a concept has existed for many decades in stories and books. However, most of them were under the guise of fantasy or science fiction—until the 1950s with Alan Turing’s Computing Machinery and Intelligence.

In that paper, he theorized that if humans can use reason and available information for problem-solving, what’s stopping machines from doing the same? 

Today, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning are pretty much used in a similar fashion as Alan Turing’s initial theory—although the technicalities are far more complex to summarize. 

In essence, AI is the simulation of human processing and using already existing information to analyze new information and arrive at solutions. Using deep learning, machines can learn from existing data and use that knowledge to “think” and operate as an individual would (except without the complexities of emotion)

But AI isn’t perfect, and there are still issues with it that we are facing today. Some of the most common problems people have with AI include the following:

  • Data Privacy
  • Intellectual Property Theft
  • Job Security

And the list goes on. But before we get to the challenges, let’s look at the positive impact AI has on modern engineering. 

The Opportunities

Engineering is all about efficiency, regardless of what field you may be in. By its nature, engineering is a practice that helps develop systems that function as intended while also being efficient at the same time. 

AI can help us achieve that through the following. 

Big Data Opportunities

Big data refers to any data set that we cannot analyze with conventional data analysis software and must be dealt with using more advanced technology. Big data is complex, comprising a wide variety of data types, and arrives at a high velocity—especially in today’s digital age. 

Our ability to analyze big data has been a crucial aspect of our growth as people. Because of big data, we can analyze trends that would otherwise never be spotted by human analysis alone. Artificial Intelligence has only made this process faster and more streamlined.

For example, AI in hospitality industry can be used to analyze big data from various sources, such as social media, online reviews, and booking patterns. This allows hotels and other businesses to better understand their customers and tailor their services to meet their needs. For example, AI can help predict peak demand periods or identify specific guest preferences, such as room temperature or pillow type, to improve the overall customer experience.

In fact, data engineers and analysts are some of the most in-demand jobs today. And thanks to AI and our ability to analyze big data, the future of engineering and data analysis has been changed invariably for life. 

Data Management

In line with big data, one other opportunity AI has brought engineers is data management. All organizations utilize the power of data. And without it, most of the conveniences we have today would simply not be possible.

Good data management can contribute to engineering by:

  • Improving predictive capacity;
  • Reducing storage costs (more efficient storing);
  • Reducing friction;
  • Increasing data accessibility.

All of those mentioned are crucial to developing systems that work, and AI is a wonderful complement to human capacity in this regard. With the existence of AI, much of the menial labor associated with storing and managing data can be delegated to a machine or software.

Another useful tool for data management is a web scraping API, which can extract data from websites and deliver it in a structured format. This can be particularly helpful for gathering large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

Improved Design

The beauty of Artificial Intelligence is that there is virtually no end to its capacity with enough time and resources. Unlike humans, AI does not forget, and it doesn’t conveniently leave out crucial bits of information. 

And while AI does make mistakes (and is by no means error-free), one of the best opportunities we can capitalize on is the concept that AI can significantly help us develop better engineering design. 

AI gives us the capacity to do the following thanks to improved design:

  • Reduce engineering costs;
  • Increase engineering efficiency;
  • Delegate menial tasks to machines or algorithms;
  • Increase utilization of automation;

AR VR technology is also playing a crucial role in improving engineering design. By creating immersive, 3D virtual environments, AR VR technology is enabling engineers to visualize and iterate on designs more effectively. If there is a demand for customized applications and tools for engineering design, it is worth turning to an AR VR development company.

Increased Opportunities in Construction

According to a Mordor Intelligence report, AI in the construction industry is poised to grow by an average of more than 33% on average through 2027—eventually set up to become a multi-billion dollar industry. 

While construction might be the last thing on your mind when it comes to AI, Artificial Intelligence has actually been a primary factor contributing to the recovery of the industry after the pandemic. 

Thanks to AI, construction companies can now do the following: 

  • Make more efficient project-related decisions;
  • Improve cost prediction;
  • Reduce waste and, in effect, cost;
  • Improve employee on-site safety;
  • Conduct environmental testing more efficiently.

In addition to these benefits, the adoption of the HL7 FHIR standard has enabled construction companies to integrate their AI systems with FHIR servers, allowing for more seamless data exchange and interoperability between different systems.

All those mentioned have made construction safer, more cost-efficient, and overall an improved industry. As our knowledge of deep learning grows, we’re bound to see even more enhancements in this field of engineering. 

The Challenges

Despite the many wonderful characteristics of AI we mentioned above, it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. 

AI, for its many fantastic characteristics, also faces many challenges in a modern world that loves convenience yet is still quite hesitant to change. 

Lack of Trust

Lack of trust is arguably the most crucial challenge that AI faces today—not from a technical standpoint, but from a user one. 

About 48% of people believe that AI isn’t to be trusted. After all, it isn’t a nice image to see your world taken over by sentient robots—although that isn’t nearly the case with AI. 

Science fiction and overall human sentiment have made AI feel like a threat to plenty of individuals. Even in 2023, there are many laggards who are not very receptive to AI and its commercial applications. 

It is this lack of public trust in technology that engineers have to overcome. And while public approval isn’t necessary for engineers to do their job, the general public is still a stakeholder in any important business decision (which is what most engineering choices boil down to eventually). 

Data Security and Privacy

The world generates around 328.77 million terabytes of data per day—a number that would be truly unimaginable to people from 50 years ago!

Our ease of access to data storage has paved the way for many conveniences in our lives. We can store our photos and videos on the cloud, stream movies and music online, and even get access to government documents all in a few clicks. Speaking of, there are even AI tools to make AI song covers.

But the amount of data the world generates and consumes also poses a challenge for AI due to several reasons. 

  • People don’t always like sharing their data. Perhaps one of the more contentious points of modern online existence is the fear that your data will be stolen, exploited, or used against you. 
  • More stringent laws and policies may eventually surface. With an abundance of data also comes an abundance of opportunities to exploit said data. To protect public welfare, many government institutions end up enacting policies that involve stricter data protection—which isn’t a bad thing. 

Job Security

One of the most prominent challenges that AI has been facing is the threat it poses to job security. While lower amounts of labor costs would be beneficial to businesses, it remains a pertinent issue to workers all over the globe. 

As with any new technological development, it is expected that people will lose jobs, and entire businesses—even industries—will collapse in the face of new tech. We saw it happen with DVDs, CDs, telephones, and typewriters, among many others. 

With the rising use of AI, the need for menial labor, such as data entry and basic writing, has now gone far down. 

Despite this, the advent of AI also has the opportunity to generate new jobs in new industries with more focus on highly skilled labor and niche knowledge. This is especially true in engineering.

Automotive software engineering services are a prime example of the new industries that have opened up as a result of AI development. As self-driving cars become more prevalent, engineers will need to design and develop the necessary software to make it possible, creating new job opportunities and contributing to the growth of the automotive industry.

As AI develops and becomes more widely used, engineers will also be expected to keep up with technological advancements and upskill to the needs of the job market. And while this might feel like bad news to some, these are the kinds of development that help us grow and improve as a society. 

Intellectual Property Theft

The popularity of AI has actually raised many debates within certain communities, like in the world of art. AI design platforms like Stable Diffusion have gotten negative feedback for using other people’s works of art without consent or compensation. 

While this concept doesn’t apply quite as significantly to engineering, it’s still a viable challenge to discuss. After all, machines do learn from existing data.


Artificial Intelligence is clearly the future. Despite how much of an alien concept it might seem to most of us, we’ve actually already been using it in many of our day-to-day tasks. 

So, as AI becomes more sophisticated, the world will also experience it on more profound levels—especially in the world of engineering.

Author bio:

Dmytro Sokhach is an entrepreneur and the 6-Figure Flipper Club member. Founded Admix Global (web agency) that builds websites, makes them profitable, and sells them as business

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