A joint venture between Guildhawk and Hong Kong-based Gammon Construction, supported by the Department for International Trade, aims to harness AI technology to facilitate multilingual information for built assets and link data to newly created digital twins to help create the smart cities of tomorrow
You may have seen back in June news of a partnership to help build tomorrow’s smart cities. Said partnership was between Hong Kong construction giants Gammon Construction and Queen’s Award-winning language and technology agency Guildhawk.
As a member of the team who worked so hard to make this joint venture happen, it’s my pleasure to shed a little more light on what exactly the project is, how it’s progressing and what we believe it will mean for our future cities and selves.
Guildhawk has been working in the digital realm and in the construction sector for many years now, developing our own ECM tool, creating new software to facilitate ethical and productive gig economy working, and providing everything from traditional translation to digital integrations for some of the world’s largest construction and engineering firms.
Over that time, we have been progressively shifting from the traditional to the digital, where we can see the latter supports human achievement and improvement efficiently and ethically. So it was only a matter of time before we were bound to encounter the uncannily like-minded Gammon Construction – or Gammon’s Digital G arm, to be exact. When we did, it was a match made in innovation heaven and we can’t thank Gammon CTO Paul Evans and the UK Department for International Trade in Hong Kong enough for putting us together.
On our side, Guildhawk had been working on a range of new technologies, made even more imperative by the context of the pandemic, to truly automate traditional, time-consuming language and data conversion tasks – such as digitisation, translation, authoring and editing. On theirs, Digital G had been steadily partnering with a roster of extraordinary companies, all offering highly innovative solutions to industry challenges Gammon had identified and working collaboratively to solve them.
From the first conversation between the Guildhawk and Gammon teams, the synergies between our respective interests became clear, as did the solution we could jointly offer to the construction industry.
What came most to the fore in our conversations was the fact that the construction sector was changing – really changing. AI and machine learning, BIM and digital twins were concepts that had been embraced for a long time, in theory, but it felt like now, especially since the pandemic, the bigger firms were actually intent on doing what had to be done to implement them in real life! Of course, most companies starting out now are doing so from a digital foundation – it would be a strange choice not to!
But for the bigger companies with a long heritage – they had years, decades, of paper-based, disconnected, difficult-to-access information on their hands and needed rapid solutions to digitise and help connect the disparate dots. They now understood the time and money they could save through BIM, not to mention the ways in which AI could help protect their globalising workforces and achieve ESG targets; it just seemed like a mountain had to be climbed to even get to basecamp.
And that’s where we knew we could make a difference, right away. Together, we were perfectly positioned to help construction companies get ready for AI. How? Like all the best solutions, ours was pretty simple when you broke it down: essentially, modular SaaS tools like Guildhawk Aided and Text Perfect that, powered by our ultra-pure multilingual data lake, allowed users to digitise paper backlogs quickly and to perfection and create digital twins in almost every language, facilitating global BIM.
A comprehensive AI toolkit for construction companies
Added to that was a text-to-video AI – Guildhawk Voice – that made essential health and safety, compliance and training materials multilingual, immediately engaging and, crucially, memorable, using avatars of real people. Plus a range of other AI and machine learning technologies to facilitate multilingual IoT functionalities, help hit sustainability targets and support the introduction of initiatives based on sentiment analysis. When combined, these solutions added up to a comprehensive AI toolkit for future-facing construction companies; a way to build their path towards digital transformation and to participate in the creation of smarter, safer, more hospitable cities.
We launched back at the end of June and since then the partnership has been going from strength to strength. Together with Gammon, we are having fascinating discussions with major construction industry players about the importance of BIM, their readiness for AI and the very real and immediate ways we can work with them to bring business processes into the digital present. Expect many more exciting developments on the horizon, both within Hong Kong and other leading cities.
From where we are sitting, the future of the smart city looks very bright indeed – with Hong Kong, Gammon and Guildhawk leading the charge towards digitisation and positive transformation. Now to spread the message far and wide, and encourage yet more exceptional construction companies to join us on the journey.
No matter how smart they are, the cities of tomorrow will – at least for now – not build themselves!
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 397 2770