Writer: Sara Suarez
2 min read September 2021 — Former Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy is leading the way in the union between construction and artificial intelligence. After two consecutive terms in the house of representatives, Murphy returned to Miami’s private industry and founded Togal.AI. The tech startup uses deep machine learning to automatically measure project spaces in seconds, saving days of manual human labor.
Murphy, who worked in construction after graduating college, represented Florida’s 18th Congressional District from 2013 until 2017. He partnered with Patrick Hughes, the president of Togal.AI whose area of expertise is trading, risk and analytics in the technology industry, to found the company in Miami.
Construction is among the industries that could benefit from artificial intelligence but which lags behind in the technology’s adoption. While the construction sector has been incorporating technology into its operations to facilitate and shorten processes that used to take days, the possibilities with AI remain primarily unexplored, a study by Mckinsey & Company found. Software, for example, has made the planning and tracking of projects less time-consuming, more remote and increasingly simple.
The use of technology has also significantly helped with the digitization of data and its storage. For example, iPads and the cloud have almost wholly replaced binders full of papers that get stored and forgotten. Unfortunately, according to an FMI study, 95% of all data gathered by the construction and engineering industries still goes unused.
Gathering data is of little use if it is not analyzed. That is challenging, particularly for people, given the massive amounts of data generated by the construction industry. Artificial intelligence can make all the difference. Deep machine learning, a field of artificial intelligence, uses large amounts of data to train itself and provide insights, like reports, without being necessarily programmed. Togal.AI, and other AI-infused construction companies, can help reduce human errors, save time and money on projects, and solve issues in construction, such as the ongoing labor shortage.
AI can also take care of repetitive activities, freeing workers to focus on their human skills and building relationships with clients, elements that aren’t likely to be replaced by AI, at least not in the foreseeable future. “Today, an estimator using any of the standard estimating software has to click a mouse button and drag over a space, room by room. This is a laborious, time-consuming process. Our technology allows estimators to focus on other higher-value services for their clients, such as value engineering and scoping,” Hughes said in a statementopens PDF file .
Togal.AI’s decision to headquarter in Miami was also good news for Mayor Francis Suarez, who highlighted the decision in his YouTube podcast, Cafecito Talk. Suarez has been wooing tech and financial startups away from Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Companies like Togal.AI fit perfectly with his vision to transform Miami into a “financial ecosystem that looks a lot like Silicon Valley today but is far more connected to the world.”
Launching this month, Togal.AI will be headquartered in Blue Lagoon.