As most of you know, AI is not only the buzzword of the day but is particularly interesting because it will also be a big part of Microsoft 365 and Bing. Being a Microsoft solutions provider for the construction industry, Lydon Solutions is always looking at future tech and how we can leverage new technology to deliver the best value to our clients. In this article, we’ll touch on how DALL-E works, where this could be valuable in construction, and some results from our own experiences with DALL-E2. Read on to find out more.
What is DALL-E2?
In late 2022, Microsoft announced it was integrating DALL-E2 into the new Microsoft 365 Designer application and Bing Image Creator Tool. While neither tool is available to test yet, OpenAI provides the DALL-E2 beta for trials. You can sign up here and try it out: DALL·E 2 (openai.com)
It’s essential to be familiar with how DALL-E2 works to understand the types of results and potential applications. OpenAI, the same developers of ChatGPT, built DALL-E2. It uses natural language to generate digital images. OpenAI trained DALL-E2 to learn the relationship between images and the text used to describe them. It uses a process called “diffusion,” which starts with a pattern of random dots and gradually alters that pattern towards an image when it recognizes specific aspects of that image. DALL-E2 can generate original images from text prompts and expand or edit existing images.
Examples of DALL-E2’s capabilities
To show you how it works, we did a couple of queries where we typed the following sentences:
These results are pretty impressive, but you can see that DALL-E struggles with photorealistic organic objects. In fact, human faces and bodies can look pretty creepy. We must remember this is only the second version so I can see this improving as time passes.
Ok, so how would I use this with construction?
It’s always fun to imagine how new technology could change an industry like construction. For starters, here are some of the many construction applications where this technology would be a benefit:
- Design renderings. You could create renderings of a construction design using BIM images, locations, angles, lighting, etc. The complete process could take minutes instead of days.
- Marketing and proposal images. Coming up with marketing designs from scratch can be a challenge. You could have custom material generated in seconds by entering a few descriptions.
- Image editing. On any construction project, many images taken might require editing in a program like Photoshop. DALL-E2 could do this for you without you having to learn Photoshop.
- Image comprehension. This one might be a bit of a stretch and would most likely require a ton of AI learning, but think about the ability to have photos of assets taken by a drone, like that of a transmission tower, and using this technology to understand everything in the image including any defects. If the system could analyze the image data and automatically collect and assimilate rework and repairs into a punch list report emailed to a project team, you could have a completely autonomous inspection solution. An automated AI system of this kind could revolutionize construction inspections entirely. Not a bad business idea 😊
In summary, DALL-E2 is a groundbreaking AI image technology that will make its way into your everyday workstream and will be available in Microsoft 365 soon. Now is probably the right time to discuss the pros and cons of using this technology within the construction community.
Lydon Solutions will continue doing its part to understand and share our knowledge of these new technologies affecting Microsoft 365. We hope these articles help you imagine what’s possible and how to use these technologies on your projects. If you need help with Microsoft 365 for your projects or a turnkey construction management solution like Construction Viz, you can reach out for a free one-hour consultation here.