A machine-learning, artificial-intelligence system designed to flag safety hazards on construction sites has once again provided a backstop for the judges of ENR’s annual photo contest. Known as “VINNIE”— Very Intelligent Neural Network for Insight and Evaluation— the software uses object recognition technologies similar to those in an autonomous vehicle to analyze construction photos and videos for risks. Developed two years ago by Cambridge, Mass.-based Smartvid.io Inc., the system matches pixels in images to a library of objects to automatically tag or note the absence of specific items, such as hardhats, gloves, or safety colors.
In 2016, ENR and several industry firms contributed thousands of construction images to help train and test VINNIE. The system processed unidentified images from ENR’s photo-contest database to help launch the software. The product’s basic level of hazard-spotting intelligence also was introduced as a free public utility in 2017.